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THE ORIGIN OF ROMAN PRAENOMINA. 
By George Davis Chase. 

I. The Indo-European Name. 

THE brilliant work of Dr. August Fick, in his investigation of 
Greek personal names, 1 has furnished us with very clear and 
definite ideas of an Indo-European name system and of the substan- 
tially intact preservation of the same system in the great subdivisions 
of the Indo-European family. Only in the cases of the Italic and 
the Balto-Slavic branches does he fail to recognize the original 
system, — in the former, because it has been overgrown and obscured 
by an entirely local development, in the latter, from lack of evidence. 
An important task remains, — and this will be the object of our 
study, — to inquire whether there exist on Latin ground any vestiges 
of the original system, and to consider in what way the historical 
Latin order of names may have been developed. 

It is necessary, first and foremost, to understand exactly the 
principles which Fick has established. They are, in so far as they 
bear on our problem, in the main these : Each individual, man or 
woman, had a single name composed of two members. Familiar 
examples of these are Gk. A^o-o-^enjs, A vest. Atared&ta (='A.Tpa-&aT-qs, 
from A tar, the sacred fire), Skt. Brhad-afva (=' Great-horse '), 
Germ. Fridu-mar, Celt. Dumno-rix (from dumno — dubno, Goth, diups, 
'deep'), Slav. Vladi-mir. That exactly the same kind of name was 
used in Balto-Slavic as well, has since been proved for the Lithuanian 
and Old Prussian (Brugmann, Vergl. Gram, ii, § 18), and is shown 
for the Lettish by a number of names of heroes from heathen times 
which I have been able to discover. Thus Tali-walds ' Wide-ruler,' 
from tali ' far ' (= Gk. rrj\e, cf. TyXi-frnxos, etc.), and waldit, Germ. 



l Die Griechischen Personennamen, etc., 1874; second enlarged edition, by Fick 
and Bechtel, 1894. 



104 George Davis Chase. 

walten; Wisu-walds 'All-ruler,' from wiss 'all,' Skt. vicva, Slav, vhi, 
of which the exact counterpart is found in the Slavic Vse-volod, from 
vM and vladiti; Ldf-plesis ' Bear-tearer,' from lads 'bear,' and plest 
' to rend.' Perhaps also the mythical hero Margers (cf. Latin Mars), 
who fell in love with Maija, the goddess of love, and whose exploits 
are celebrated in the poetry of the Lettish people, also exhibits an 
example of a similarly formed name. 

Most commonly each member was of two syllables, but often of 
more, as 'AiroAA.o-8a>pos, and not infrequently of a single syllable, as 
Ev-KpaTrp. That both members of a name, however, should, in the 
original form, be single syllables, is a rare occurrence, although in 
Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic, laws of unaccented syllables have often 
reduced names to dissyllabic form. Thus such names as IleA.-oi/' are 
uncommon, but names like Germ. Dag-frid, for *Daga-fridu, are 
frequent. 

It is evident that in any language an equipment of names averag- 
ing four syllables in length, while possessing dignity and sonancy, 
and appropriate to the requirements of epic narrative, heroic 
tradition, and formal intercourse, is ill-adapted to the needs of 
familiar, every-day life. A shortening and simplification is the inevi- 
table result, and this is amply illustrated in each of the Indo-European 
tongues. The process was in nowise different from that which we 
see going on about us every day : Frederick is familiarly called Fred, 
Catherine, Kate, until these shortened names become so familiar that 
they are received into the class of given names, and we meet with 
men and women who were never named anything but Fred or Kate. 
Further, Elizabeth may be shortened to Eliza, Lizzie, Betsey, Betty, 
or Bessy, and so, from one original, our list of available given names 
is considerably increased. It is to be noticed, furthermore, that 
either part of the original name may be taken as the shortened form ; 
thus Joseph is in English abbreviated to Joe, in Swiss to Seppi; Fri- 
derike becomes either Frida or Hike. Again, Lou may stand for 
Louise, or Lucy, or Lucinda ; Bert for Al-bert or Bert-hold. In like 
manner the early compound names were abbreviated ; either member 
or the first member and the initial syllable of the second might be 
taken as the new name. Since the same member might form a com- 
ponent part of a number of names, it might stand as an abbreviated 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 105 

form for any one of them. Thus Fick cites sixty-one names begin- 
ning with Wulf, and an equal number ending with it. The shortened 
form Wolfo, or Woljin, or Wolfilo may be the representative of any 
or of all of these hundred and twenty-two names. 

To the shortened names were added suffixes of a considerable 
variety of form, but in force mainly diminutive, usually with the addi- 
tional idea of endearment. Among the commonest suffixes are -*-, as 
in Gk. Kvirp-i-s, Hdp-is, Germ. Ruodi, from Ruod-olf, etc. (cf. Eng. 
Billy, Johnny, etc.) ; -ia-, as in Skt. Dev-iya, from Deva-datta, etc., 
and very commonly in Greek, as in Nuc-i'a-s : -ino-, as in German 
Wolf in, etc. : and also suffixes having /, k, or d as their character- 
istic, as Skt. Devi-ka, Gk. "lwira-Kos, Avk-iS-tjs ; Germ. Ulf-ila, Wolf-izo, 
Frizzo (=*Frid-td). 

To illustrate further the formation of the compound names and the 
simplified ones derived from them, we will give a few of the more 
common examples : 

Greek, — Xpvcr-ayopas, Xpv<ro-yovos, Xpv<T-wnros, Xpucrd-jaaxos, Xpvcro- 
yevrj's, Xpvo-d-0e/us, etc. ; XpScros, Xpwnov, Xpwis, Xpvcrias, XpwiW, etc. ; 
TrjX-avyrji, TijXtryovos, TtjXc-SCki), TjjAe-KAuTOs, TijA.e-jU.axos, Tr]X€-<j>dvj}i, 
TrjXe-viKos, TiyA.€-p./3p0T0S, etc. ; TjjAeas, Tr/Xrjs, TrjXivrjS, TrjXiav&rjS, etc. 

Sanskrit, — Mitra-deva, Mitra-bhanu, Mitra-varcas, Mitra-vinda, 
Mitra-sena, Mitra-(arman, etc.; Mitra, Mitraka, etc.; Rupa-dhara, 
Rupa-manjari, Rupa-fikhd, Riipa-sena, Kama-rupa, Su-rupa, etc.; 
Rupa, Rupin, Rupya, etc. 

Germanic, — Fridu-berht, Frid-wald, Frid-dag, Fridu-ger, etc. ; 
Muot-frid, Mar-frid, Arn-frid, Liub-fried, etc. ; Frido, Fridiko, Fricco, 
Fridilo, Frillo, Fridolin, Fridin, Frizzo. 

Celtic, — Touto-bocio, Toutio-rix, etc., from Ir. tuath (= Goth, \iudd) ; 
Toutus, Touta, Toutia, Toutillus, Toutona, Toutonia. 

Avestan, — Kereftifpa 'lean horse', Manus-cithra (cithra 'bright'), 
Nairyo-fahha (nere 'man'). 

Slavic, — Ljude-vit, Ljude-mysl (Lj'udu ' people ' ) ; Ljuda, Ljuden, 
Ludek ; Dobro-voj, Dobro-gost (dobru 'good ' ) ; Dobr, Dobrilo, Dob- 
ren, Dobrota, Dobrik, Dobros. 



106 George Davis Chase. 

There is abundant evidence to prove that the shorter forms are 
abbreviations from compound names, and not separate names. On 
this subject, compare Brugmann (Vergl. Gram, ii, t>Z) for a clear 
and concise statement of the facts. For the Germanic, Fr. Stark 
(Die Kosenamen der Germanen, Vienna, 1868 ; cf. Fick 1 , xcii) has 
collected from documentary evidence a great number of examples in 
which the same person is called both by the full name and the 
shortened form. Thus, in Icelandic, we find Kostbera in Elder 
Edda, Atlam&l, 6 and 9 ; but ibid. 33 and 50 the same person is 
mentioned as Bera or Beru. In Sanskrit, the grammarian Panini 
(5, 3, 78-9) recognizes the abridgment of names as a regular 
principle, and gives rules of grammar for the formation of the 
shortened forms. Examples, too, are not uncommon in Sanskrit 
literature. Professor C. R. Lanman has called my attention to 
a number of instances, as follows: MBhr. iii, 15582 Kotika-asya 
(Prince) 'Frog-mouth'; ibid. 15586, shortened to Kotika 'Frog.' 
(Cf. Lettish Kaupis ' Frog', the name of a hero of heathen times.) 
Jataka, ed. Fausb^ll, i, 241, 3, Mitta-vindaka ; ibid. 241, 9, Mittaka. 
Sutta-nipata (p. 61, line 5), Nigrodha-kappa, called for short Kappa, 
ibid. (p. 62, stanza 349). In Greek, the grammarian Herodianus 
(Etym. M. 93.50) has the following passage : "A^is • tovto ov 
(TvyKoirij, aXXa. /i£Tacr^i;/*oTiO"jtios. airo yap tov ' Ap-fadpaos "A/x<f>t's <us 
Trap Al<r\v\w, tixnrzp I<piavacrcra I<f>fs /cat ®pa<rvK\ijs ©pdVvAAos Kal 
Ba6vK\r)s Ba0vX\os vTroKopioriKa. Plato (Protag. 318, b) speaks of 
Zeuxippus of Heraclea as a famous painter ; this is generally under- 
stood to be the artist who is often mentioned by the name of Zeuxis 
(cf. Plat. Gorg. 453 c ; Xen. Mem. i, 4, 3, etc.). 

One more essential in connection with the Indo-European name 
system demands our attention, — the character of the words from 
which the members are derived. It was no part of the design of the 
progenitors of our race to attach to their descendants names that 
would involve a reproach or encumbrance. Rather, they sought, as 
omens for virtue and prosperity, to endow them with appellations 
suggesting divine favor and good will, or descriptive of their con- 
ceptions of ideal men and women (see Laws of Manu, ii, 3 1 seq.). 
It follows, therefore, that their compounds were made from a choice 
of words as limited as their ideal conceptions of beauty, amiability, 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 107 

prosperity, and virtue. These ideas were oftenest expressed by such 
nouns as war, spear, shield, peace, law, people, friend; joy, mercy, 
desire; horse, deer, wolf, dragon, serpent ; by such adjectives as good, 
long, high, far, all, strong, true, bright, renowned; by such verbs as 
know, support, defend, beget, shine, possess, do, stand, destroy, fight, 
rule. The character^and limitation of these words is easily recog- 
nized, and is a most important feature of the system. 

II. Latin Names. 

Having once grasped the full significance and the extension of 
this common Indo-European name system, we cannot for a moment 
doubt that it once existed on Italic soil ; but when we look for its 
traces we are confronted with obscurities. It may well be ques- 
tioned whether a single survival of the compound names exists in 
Latin. Publi-cola is the nearest approach to a probable instance, 
and the probability is heightened when we compare similar names 
in other languages, such as Gk. Aij/to-i^tXos, *t\d-8^os ; Slav. Ljude- 
vit ; Irish Tuath-char (Touto-carus) ; A.S. Lead-win. But we are 
obliged to regard this correspondence as illusory, for we have the 
distinct tradition (Liv. ii, 8, 1) that Publicola was added as a cog- 
nomen to P. Valerius in 509 B.C., because of his efforts in promot- 
ing the republic ; that is, he was the man who ' worked the people.' 
Plebi-cola is apparently a later name formed on the analogy of Publi- 
cola. Aheno-barbus and Crassi-pes are old compounds, but from their 
signification seem to belong to the Italic rather than the Indo-Euro- 
pean system. Centum-alus has been conjectured to mean ' one who 
supports an hundred slaves ' (from centum and alere), but its deriva- 
tion is entirely unknown and many other possibilities may be 
thought of. Opiter, though often believed to be a compound, is so 
obscure that we must reserve the discussion of it till later. 

It is plain, therefore, that if we are to find in Latin remnants of 
the original name system we must seek for them in the abbreviated 
forms. For this reason I have been particular to call attention to 
the characteristic features of the shortening process and to the 
nature of the members of which the name is composed. These we 
may hope to find valuable guides in our investigation. 



108 George Davis Chase. 

It is possible that the Italic peoples, at some prehistoric time, 
from some powerful outward pressure, may have utterly abandoned 
their own name system for a foreign one. Such an occurrence is 
not unknown in the history of races, as, for instance, when a 
heathen people embraces Christianity and is baptized with Christian 
names. Thus the Lettish people of Courland, when, several cen- 
turies ago they were at once converted to Christianity and reduced 
to slavery by the Prussian nobility, laid aside forever their ancestral 
heathen names and became at the hands of the priesthood simple 
Peter and John. Such a change may be so sudden and complete as 
to leave no traces of the earlier practice. That such, however, was 
the case among the Italic peoples is not at all probable. Far more 
likely is it that out of the old system, and building upon its ruins, 
there was developed the new system which we meet in historical times. 
Nor is the reason for the decay of the old far to seek. It rested upon 
the fundamental abhorrence of the Latin language for long compounds. 
We have seen that the Indo-European names average four syllables 
in length. Such compounds we easily recognize as foreign to the 
tendencies of Latin. The result was that the compounds were early 
abbreviated and continued to exist only in the shortened forms. 

But we are basing this argument too largely on the inferences of 
logic without the reinforcing evidence of the facts. It is now time 
that we examine carefully the Roman system in its component parts. 
In republican times, at least, the Romans themselves recognized and 
clearly distinguished in a man's complete official name three divi- 
sions, which were written in a regular, definite order. First, the 
praenomen, or name given to the child by its parents on the ninth 
day after birth (cf. Marquardt, Rom. Alterth. vii, 10); secondly, 
the gentilicium, or name from the gens into which the child was 
born ; thirdly, the cognomen, or name of the particular family to 
which the child's father belonged, or the name which the child 
might acquire in after life from achievement or peculiarity, and 
which would be handed down to his children. Thus a man might 
be born to one or more cognomina and gain others during his life- 
time. This happened particularly in aristocratic families, where we 
find, even in early times, such names as P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica 
Serapio, the consul of 133 B.C. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 109 



III. Latin Cognomina. 

The cognomina, as in origin and structure the most transparent 
class of Latin names, may first claim our attention. To consider 
every cognomen in Latin would be a task beyond the scope of the 
present work, and indeed is not necessary to any understanding of 
the cognomina as a class. For our purpose it has seemed sufficient 
to examine and classify all the cognomina from a considerable portion 
of the Latin sources. As of sufficiently wide range and sufficiently 
representative of the whole, we have chosen all those occurring in 
Livy and in the first volume of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 
(CIL), exclusive of those names, confined to slaves, which are mani- 
festly of foreign origin. These we have classified into the groups 
into which they naturally fall according to their meaning. 

We have first a list of names which refer to physical peculiarities, 
as follows: Capito 'big-head,' from caput; Cotta 'cowlick' (?) 1 ; 
Nasica 'prominent nose,' from nasus ; Naso 'large nose'; Silus 
'pug-nosed' ; Silo 'pug-nosed,' from silus ; Licinus 'bent upward' 
(of the nose ?) ; Mento ' long chin,' from mentum ; Dentio, Denter, 
'prominent teeth,' from dens; Brocchus 'prominent teeth' ; Labeo 
' thick lips,' from labrum ; Chilo ' large-lipped,' from x«ta>* (cf. Fest. 
43. 10); Flaccus 'flop-eared' ; Strabo 'squinter' ; Codes 'blind in 
one eye,' for Kikf ; Paetus, Paetinus ' blink-eyed ' ; Luscus, Lusci- 
nus ' one-eyed ' ; Pronto, Cilo ' prominent forehead ' ; Bucca ' big 
cheeks,' or ' bawler ' ; Scaeva (sc. manus) ' left-handed ' ; Scaevola, 
diminutive of the same; Laevinus 'left-handed,' from laeva ; Laeca 
' left-handed,' for Laevica (sc. manus') ; Unimanus ' one-handed ' ; 
Varus ' knock-kneed ' ; Valgus ' bow-legged ' ; Sura, Sulla (for 



1 The explanation of Cotta is very difficult. We may understand it to be con- 
nected with the Sicilian k6ttos, kottIs meaning ' forelock, cockscomb ' (?) (Hesy- 
chius, irp6K0TTa- elSos Kovpas, rj K«pd\rjs, Tplxupui- kottIs yi.p ij /ce0a\i). ical ol d\e- 
Krpv&ves kottoI Silt. rbv M t5 (ce^aXj \&<pov. Cf. Sartori, Kottabos-spiel, 1893, p. 73). 
Cotta is otherwise explained as standing for Coda ; cf. Wolflin, Archiv f. Lat. Lex. 
vi, 269. The assimilation of -ct- to -tt- is not Latin, but is regular for modern 
Italian and may have been dialectic in classical times. It might then refer to a 
sun-burned face, ' parboiled.' 



HO George Davis Chase. 

surula, a diminutive of sura l ) ' prominent calves ' ; Scaurus 
' swollen ankles ' ; Crassipes ' thick-foot ' ; Plautus ' flat-foot ' ; Plancus 
' flat-foot ' ; Pedo ' broad-foot,' from pes ; Pansa ' broad-foot ' ; 
Falto (= Baled) ' a person with the great toes turned in ' ; Dossenus, 
Dorso ' hunchback,' from dorsum ; Coxsa ' prominent hips ' ; Galba 
' fat-paunch,' a Gallic word (cf. Suet. Galba, 3) ; Mammula ' little- 
breast,' from mamma ; Scapula ' prominent shoulders ' ; Balbus, 
Blaesus ' stammerer ' ; Blasio ' stammerer,' from blaesus (?) ; Rocus 
'hoarse,' for raucus ; Tubero, Tubertus 'bumpy,' from tuber; Verru- 
cosus 'warty' ; Macatus 'spotted,' a past participle of a *macare, a 
denominative verb from * maca, of which the diminutive macula is 
preserved; Mancinus ' maimed,' from mancus ; Peticus 'scabby' (?) 
(cf. petigd) ; Callus 'thick-skinned,' or perhaps for Gallus ; Nerva 
'sinewy,' from nervus ; Barbatus 'bearded'; Barba 'long-beard'; 
Barbo ' long-beard,' from barba ; Ahenobarbus ' bronze (colored) 
beard' (cf. Suet. Nero, 1) ; Comatus ' long-haired ' ; Caesar 'hairy' 
(cf. caesaries, Skt. kef a) ; Crispinus ' curly hair,' from crispus ; Cincinna- 
tus ' curly hair ' ; Cinnus ' curly hair,' (cf . Cinna, sc. coma) ; Elva or 
Helva (sc. coma) ' light bay hair ' ; Lanatus ' woolly ' ; Glabrio ' bald- 
head,' from glaber ; Calvus 'bald' ; Calvinus 'baldish,' from calvus ; 
Vulso ' plucked,' from vello ; Rufus ' red-haired ' ; Rufinus ' reddish- 
haired,' from rufus ; Rufio 'red-haired,' from rufus ; Rutilus 'red- 
haired' ; Flavus ' fair-haired, Fairfax'; Albus 'white (haired?)'; 
Albinus ' whitish (haired ?) ' ; Purpureo ' rosy (complexioned) ' ; 
Niger ' dark ' ; Fldrus ' shining (complexioned) ' ; Ambustus ' sun- 
burned ' ; Curio ' emaciated ' ; Pennus ' sharp (featured) ' ; Macer 
'lean' ; Macerinus ' leanish ' ; Crassus ' fat ' ; Bassus ' stout ' ; Paullus 
' short ' ; Longus ' tall ' ; Longinus ' longish ' ; Pulcher ' handsome ' ; 
Curvus ' bent ' ; Drusus ' stiff.' 2 

A second class refers to the habits or character of the individual, 
as : 

Casca ' old-fashioned,' from cascus ; Rusticus ' living in the country, 
countrified'; Alienus ' foreign ' ; Cato ' sagacious,' from catus ; Nero 
' noble ' (a Sabine word connected with nerio, fortitude, Skt. nara, 



1 For a different explanation of Sulla, see Plut. Sulla, 2. 

2 For another explanation of Drusus, see Suet. Tib. 3. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 1 1 1 

Gk. Avijp ; in Oscan nero seems to be a title of rank) ; Severus 
' stern '; Violens ' furious ' ; Lepidus ' agreeable ' ; Frugi ' temperate ' 
Magnus ' great '; Pius ' dutiful ' ; Carus ' dear ' ; Imperiosus ' haughty ' 
Augustus 'majestic'; Nobilior 'nobler'; Molliculus 'voluptuous' 
Venox ' given to hunting ' ; Lentulus ' rather slow ' ; Celer ' swift ' 
Fessus ' wearied ' ; Brutus ' coarse ' ; Tremulus ' shaking ' ; Varro 
and Varo (= Baro 1) ' a foolish person ' ; Regillus ' royal ' ; Potitus 
' boss ' ; Structus ' built up ' ; Bibulus ' tippler ' ; Bibaculus ' tippler,' 
a diminutive of bibax ; Tappo, Tappulus ' tippler ' (cf. lex tappuld) ; 
Dives ' rich ' ; Gurges ' spendthrift ' ; Rullus ' beggar ' ; Sabula ' a 
talkative person' ; Publicola ' one who works the people' ; Plebicola 
' one who works the plebs ' ; Caldus ' warm ' ; Acidinus ' sharpish.' 

A third class refers to the condition or relation of the individual, 
as : 

Faustus ' fortunate ' ; Fostlus = Faustulus, a diminutive of Fau- 
stus ; Felix ' fortunate ' ; Donatus ' gifted ' ; Auctus ' increased ' ; 
Liber ' free ' ; Spurinus ' illegitimate,' from spurius ; Cordus ' born 
late in the season'; Proculus, a diminutive of Proeus; 1 Primus 
'first'; Septimus 'seventh'; Postumus 'last born'; Maximus 
' eldest ' ; Priscus ' old ' ; Geminus ' twin ' ; Gemellus ' twin ' ; Trige- 
minus 'triplet' ; Frater 'brother' ; Paterculus 'daddy.' 

The fourth class is of offices and occupations, or names derived 
from such, as : 

Figulus ' potter ' ; Pictor ' painter ' ; Fullo ' fuller ' ; Natta or Naeta 
' fuller,' from voo-o-oj, to press ; Faber ' smith ' ; Lanio ' butcher ' ; Llbo 
'sprinkler,' connected with libare; 2 Subulo 'flute player' ;,Thurarius 
'frankincense dealer'; Bubulcus 'cowherd' ; Pictor 'baker of offer- 
ing cakes'; Cursor 'runner'; Mensor 'measurer' ; Pollio 'polisher 
of arms ' ; Cornicen ' trumpeter ' ; Nauta ' sailor ' ; Metellus ' mercen- 
ary,' = fufr6tos (cf. Paul, ex Fest. p. 146) ; Triarius, a soldier serving 
among the triarii; Salinator ' salt-dealer' ; Camillus, a noble youth 



1 For another explanation of Proculus cf. Paul, ex Fest. 225, who explains it as 
meaning ' born when one's father is abroad.' 

2 The relation between Llbo and libare may be explained as one of ablaut, 
libarc standing for leibarc ; cf. feido and /Ides. The name Libo may come from 
the office of libation-pourer at the sacrifice. 



112 George Davis Chase. 

employed in religious offices ; Flamen; Flamininus, from flamen ; 
Augurinus, from augur; Censorinus, from censor; Rex 'ruler'; 
Regulus 'prince ' ; Hortator 'exhorter' ; Flaccinator, from flacceo;to 
flag, 'one who makes to flag'; Sulca .' furrower,' from sulcare, to 
furrow ; Numilor ' arranger ' (cf. Numa, vo/u.os, numerus, etc.). 

The fifth class, a large and very characteristic one, consists of the 
names of common objects, animals, etc. Names also derived from 
animals and objects, as Laenas from laena, Torquatus from torques, 
Caepio from caepa, may best be classed here, as the difference 
between calling a man ' necklace ' and ' wearing a necklace ' is purely 
one of rhetorical figure. The relationship of all these names to the 
individual is often not clear ; but the general character of the rela- 
tionship is sufficiently suggested by those examples concerning which 
there is no doubt. In the case of objects directly connected with the 
person, as Crista, Spinther, Torquatus, the relation is easy to see ; 
in the case of animals, birds, etc., as Asinus, Vitulus, Merula, the 
name doubtless ascribed to the person the character or habits for 
which the animal is supposed to stand. So in English, and particu- 
larly in the zoological ' Schimpf worter ' in German, the names of 
animals are regularly applied to persons, usually in an uncomplimen- 
tary sense. In Latin the kind of person designated by many of 
these animal names is no longer known, but from those which we do 
know the general intent of . the class is not hard to infer. The most 
difficult subdivision of all is that of inanimate objects, in some of 
which a resemblance to the individual, in appearance or character, 
seems to be hinted at, as in Tubulus, Culleo, Stola; in others the 
person may have had some real business or connection with the 
object, as in Carbo, Buxsus. It is very difficult to decide, for ex- 
ample, whether Caepio, from caepa ' onion,' means a man who culti- 
vated onions, or whose head was shaped like an onion. Perhaps for 
our purposes of classification it is sufficient to know that he was nick- 
named ' oniony.' The list is as follows : 

Spinther ' bracelet ' ; Crista ' crest ' ; Centho, a cap worn over the 
helmet; Per a ' wallet ' ; Fimbria 'fringe'; Laenas 'cloaked,' from 
laena (cf. Cic. Brut. 14) ; Argentillus, from argentum, silver; Tor- 
quatus ' adorned with a torques ' ; Asellus ' little ass ' ; Asina ' she 
ass ' ; Catulus ' puppy ' ; Caninus ' doggish ' ; Vitulus ' calf ' •, Trio 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 113 

'plow ox'; Vaccus, from vacca, cow (?) ; Verris 'male swine' (cf. 
Plaut. Mil. 1059, where it is used contemptuously of a man) ; Mus 
' mouse ' ; Murena, a shellfish (referring to the color of his dress) ; 
Stellio ' newt, crafty fellow ' ; Merula ' blackbird ' ; Corvus ' raven ' ; 
Turdus ' thrush ' ; Buteo ' hawk ' ; Gragulus (= Graculus) ' jack- 
daw ' ; Gracchus 'jackdaw,' for * gracus, of which graculus is the 
diminutive ; Todillus, a kind of small bird (cf. Fest. p. 352) ; Musca 
' fly ' ; Cossus, larva under the bark of trees ; Caepio, from caepa, an 
onion ; Cicero, from cicer, a small pea ; l Fabatus, iromfaba, a bean ; 
Fundulus ' sausage ' ; Aculeo, from aculeus, a spur ; Malleolus ' small 
hammer ' (cf. Charles Martel) ; Dolabella ' little pickax ' ; Tegula 
' tile ' ; Tubulus ' small tube ' ; Piso ' mortar ' ; Gillo ' cooling vessel ' ; 
Culleo, from culleus, a leathern bag ; Maso or Masso, from massa, a 
lump (cf . Massa, a cognomen) ; Scipio ' staff ' ; Buxsus ' boxwood ' ; 
Carbo ' coal,' also used of a thing of small value ; Pulvillus ' little 
pillow'; Stolo 'branch, sucker'; Ahala i=Ald) 'wing'; Corbo, 
from corbis, basket ; Saxa ' rocks ' ; Saxula ' little rocks ' ; Arvina 
' grease ' ; Lucullus, from lucus, a grove (a double diminutive) ; 
Ralla (= raduld) ' scraper' (cf. rallum) ; Cerco, from Kepxos 'tail ' (?) ; 
Posca, a drink of vinegar and water ; Scylla, the sea monster ; 
Merenda ' afternoon luncheon ' ; Musa ' muse ' ; 2 Limetanus, from 
limites; Alimentus, from alimentum, nourishment. 

The sixth class includes names from localities and represents the 
town, district, country, or people from which the person came or 
with which he was in some way identified, as : 

Antias, from Antium ; Fidenas, from Fidenae; Sufenas, from Sufena; 
Asprenas, Aesillas, Supinas, from unknown towns ; Menas (written 
Mend), Umbrian, and perhaps a gentile name ; Fregellanus, from 
Fregellae ; Tusculanus, from Tusculum ; Camerinus, from Cameria; 
Medullinus, from Medullum ; Coriolanus, from Corioli; Setinus, from 
Setia ; Norbanus, from Norba ; Collatinus, from Collatia ; Regillensis, 
from Regillus ; Nbmentanus, from Nomentum; Pyrgensis, from 



1 An interesting parallel to Cicero is the Sanskrit personal name CSnakya, 
from canaka ' cicer.' 

2 The cognomen Musa is derived from mussus according to Fisch, die Latein- 
ischen nomina personalia auf u o, onis," 1890, p. 157. 



114 George Davis Chase. 

Pyrgi; Veientanus, from Veii; Calenus, from Cales ; Nblanus, from 
Nola; Atellanus, from Atella; Seranus, from Serranum; Caudinus, 
from Caudium ; Tempsanus, from Temesa; Tarentinus, from Taren- 
tum; Sarranus, from Sarra; Massiliota, from Massilia ; Atratinus, 
from Atratus, a river near Rome; Silanus, from 6V/a, a forest in the 
country of the Brutii ; Capitolinus, from the Capitolium ; Tuscivica- 
nus, from Tuscivicus ; Coelimontanus, from Coelemontium ; Arsa, a 
city of Spain ; Sarra, the city of Tyre ; Croto ; Istra ' Istrian ' ; 
Numida, Sabinus, Lucanus, Marsus, Apulus, Umber, Volscus, Ligur, 
Gallus, Siculus, Hispanus ; Hisp 'alius <* Hispanulus 'little Span- 
iard'; Cerretanus, from the Cerretani ; Vetto or Vecto, from the Vec- 
tones ; Geta, from the Getae; Surus 'Syrian'; Creticus, from Crete; 
Isauricus, from the Isauri; Africanus, from Africa; Asiagenus 
(= 'Awiaywfc) 'born in Asia': Messala, from Messana (cf. Sen- 
Brev. Vit. 13, 5) ; Mugillanus, Tuditanus, Vibulanus, Turrinus, Tri- 
cipitinus, Pontenus, from unknown places. 

The seventh class consists of names derived from other names. 
The majority are names in -anus, from gentile names, and denote, in 
the case of an adopted son, the gens in which he was born. The 
others are plain derivatives from familiar names, or are names of 
divinities applied to men. The list is as follows : 

Clodianus, Nonianus, Cestianus, Vinicianus, Octavianus, Caeicianus, 
Aemilianus, Sextianus, Messianus, Sempronianus, Petrinianus, Rulli- 
anus, Satrienus, derived from gentile names ; Saturninus, from 
Saturnus; Mamerrinus, from Mamercus ; Marcellinus, from Marcellus ; 
Marcellus, a diminutive of Marcus ; Lucillus, a diminutive of Lucius ; 
Silenus, the companion of Bacchus ; Myrtilus, the son of Mercury. 

The eighth class consists of names of foreign origin, many of 
which are Greek or Etruscan, as : 

Philus, 4>t\os ; Philippus, &i\tiriros ; Thermus, %e.ppo<i ; Sophus, 
Solo's ; Philo, 3>tA<ov ; Matho, Md0tav ; Molo, MoAtov ; Gritto, Ypiaawv 
' pig,' used as a personal name in Greek ; Bursio, from the cogno- 
men Bursa, for fivpcra, a hide ; Tympanus, from Tvp.va.vov, a timbrel ; 
Hupsaeus ioxHypsaeus, from ui/'os, height; Basilius, /Sao-tXctos ; Megellus, 
in Greek M«yt\Aos (Xen. Hell, iii, 46), from p.iya.% ; Pitio occurs as 
IIiTtW on a grave-tablet in the Theseion. Etruscan names are 
Spurinna, Sisenna, Siperna, Perperna, Perpena, Thalna ; Oscan 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 115 

names are Papus, Paccius, Pacilus, Salvius ; Maro is Umbrian, cf. 
maronatei ' praetura ' ; Matuginensis, from Matugenus, is a Celtic 
name. 

Tamphilus is a name of great obscurity. O. Keller, Lateinische 
Sprachgeschkhte, ii, 268, attempts to derive it from Damophilus, a 
process difficult both on account of the syncopation and the change 
of d to /. The regular change in Greek loanwords is from initial 
tenues to mediae, as gubernare < Kvficpvdw. Syncope, too, under the 
old Latin accent law hardly occurs in foreign words, which were 
usually borrowed after the penultimate accent law went into effect. 
Tamphilus is found in the gens Baebia, a family from Oscan terri- 
tory. It seems most probable that the name is connected with the 
gentile Tampius, which occurs in the same part of Italy, cf. ' CIL. 
ix, 5190 ; iii, 2547. Perhaps the form which appears in CIL. i, 264, 
M. Baebius Tampilus, is the more correct, representing an original 
Tampulus, which we may suppose was influenced by the analogy of 
Greek names in -<f>i\o<;. In republican times there was little differ- 
ence in pronunciation between -pulus and -<£t\os among the Romans. 
We prefer, therefore, to assign Tamphilus to Oscan territory and 
leave its meaning unexplained. 

Occasionally we meet with such names as lulus, Tullus, and 
Caius used as cognomina. These will be treated more fully in a 
later chapter on praenomina, and may therefore be neglected here. 
There remain to form the ninth and last class only a small number 
of names which are of entirely unknown signification. But even 
these are similar in appearance to those of our recognized classes. 
There are none that are demonstrably different in character or origin 
from those which we have already classed. They are as follows : 

Centumalus, Cethegus, Rebilus, Volimus, Mateidus, Birbatrus, Sta- 
bilius, Falevius, Bala, Calussa, Scato, Saverrio. 

The general transparency of the Roman cognomina and the well- 
defined classes which they form must be evident to all from an ex- 
amination of the foregoing lists. Even if a doubt exists in the case 
of a number of words as to their exact etymology, there can be little 
doubt as to their general character. To make our results still more 
plain we will add the following table : 



Ii6 George Davis Chase. 



ass I. 


Physical peculiarities 


95 


II. 


Individual habits or character 


38 


III. 


" condition or relation 


'9 


IV. 


Offices and occupations 


3° 


V. 


Animals, objects, etc., by metaphor 


60 


VI. 


Locality 


64 


" VII. 


Derived from other names 


20 


" VIII. 


Foreign names 


27 


IX. 


Unknown 


12 



Total 365 

The general tendency of those names which are distinctly Roman 
and are not derived from other names or from places, is to point out 
some defect in the individual. The actuating spirit of such a sys- 
tem of names is one of gibe and criticism, — a spirit in every 
respect opposed to that which we have shown was the basis of the 
common Indo-European system. With regard to their signification 
alone, hardly a single name from our lists of cognomina could be 
derived from the original system. The name Nero might be, but 
that we shall try to prove was not Roman, and with it "our list stops. 

But there is additional evidence as to the origin of the cog- 
nomina, — namely the form of the words themselves. They are 
derived (1) from gentile names by means of the suffix -anus, or 
from other names by the suffix -inus, as Mamercinus, Longinus, or by 
the diminutive -ulus, as Marcellus for * Marcululus, Hispallus for 
* Hispanulus ; (2) from places by the endings -anus, -inus, -hius, 
-ensis, -as ; or (3) from objects, by the ending -dtus, as Torquatus, 
Fabatus. But in the great majority of cases they are nouns or 
adjectives taken bodily, and without any change, out of the spoken 
Latin, as Corvus, Catulus, Pictor, Brutus, Rufus, Paetus. A consid- 
erable number are derivatives in -0, -onis, originally from adjectives, 
later from nouns and verbs (cf. Lindsay, Lat. Lang. p. 349, § 55), 
used most frequently with a contemptuous signification. For the 
development and use of these names, see Fisch, die Lateinischen 
nomina personalia auf " o, onis," 1890. A few show an -r or -er 
suffix, as Denter, beside Dentio. This ending seems to have a com- 
parative force, denoting a ' kind ' or ' sort of.' 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. WJ 

Many cognomina are in origin feminine -a stems. These are ex- 
plained (Zimmermann, Wolflin's Archiv f. Lat. Lex. vi, 269) either 
as feminine nouns denoting parts of the body, etc., as Coxa, Axilla, 
Bucca, or as adjectives modifying some feminine noun understood. 
Thus manus is to be supplied with Laeva, Curva, Pola ; coma with 
Alba, Helva, Casca, Cinna, etc. Thus from the simplicity and trans- 
parency of the formation of Latin cognomina, as well as from 
their meaning, it is evident that they can have nothing to do with 
the original Indo-European names. 

IV. Latin Gentilicia. 

Having established the character of the cognomina, we must next 
direct our attention to the gentile names. These present many ob- 
scure and perplexing details, a full discussion of which would far 
exceed the possibilities of the present work. Nor is it necessary 
for the purpose in hand. We shall be content if we can decide 
upon the origin and character of gentile names sufficiently to draw 
a definite conclusion ; and that we believe we can do without enter- 
ing upon all the details of the problem, or even considering the 
whole body of names which may be gathered. As a thoroughly 
representative group, we have selected the names in the first volume 
of the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIE), and have undertaken 
to classify and arrange them. 

The gentile names of the city of Rome itself extend back to the 
earliest period, and because of their antiquity are difficult to under- 
stand. As the number of names indefinitely increased with the 
gradual extension of citizenship throughout Italy, we find puzzling 
names from non-Latin dialects or foreign languages constantly 
creeping in. The result is that we have many gentilicia of whose 
elucidation we must always despair. The first thing which chal- 
lenges our attention in the consideration of gentile names is that 
they are all derivative adjectives, formed in most cases by the end- 
ing -ius, occasionally by other adjective-forming suffixes. Excep- 
tions to this rule are found in a very limited number of exactly such 
words as the underived cognomina, like Verres ' boar.' 

Names of Etruscan origin often appear with the endings -erna, 



n8 George Davis Chase. 

-enna, -ena, as Perperna, Siperna, which have been previously classed 
as cognomina, but which appear to be used without distinction as 
cognomina or gentiles. 

The Umbrians frequently employed as gentiles cognomina in -ds, 
-atis, which were derived from names of towns, as Fulginas, Capidas. 

From names of places we find gentiles either in -anus, in exactly 
the same form as the corresponding cognomina, or with the further 
derivative termination -anius. In either case cognomina in -anus 
appear to lie back of them. For a full and satisfactory treatment of 
these names, see E. Hiibner, Ephem. Epigraph, vol. ii, p. 25. In 
CIL. i, we find the following representatives of these two classes : 

Ae/o/anus, Irom the town Aefola; Lorelanus, Musanus; Trebulanus, 
from the town Trebula ; Afranius ; Albanius, from cogn. Albanus, 
from Alba; Atanius or Athanius ; Avianius, from cogn. Avianus, 
from gens Avia ; Fundanius, from cogn. Fundanus, from the town 
Fundi; Maianius, from cogn. Maianus ; Trebanius, from the town 
Treba; Car anius, Turr anius, Tusanius. 

A form of gentile in -enus, standing for -inus after -£, as in 
alienus, — a name not Latin, but found most frequently in Picenum 
and vicinity (Mommsen, De dialectis Italiae inferioris, p. 362), — seems 
to be derived from other gentiles, rarely from places. Hiibner, /. c. 
p. 28, has collected about two hundred examples of such names. 
In CIL. i, the following examples appear : 

From other gentiles, Aienus, Alfenus, Audienus, Betilienus, 
Caesienus, Matienus, Mutienus ; Salvienus, from Sa/vius; Veienus, 
from Veii ; Volsienus, from the cognomen Volsus. 

Cognomina in -0, -onis form the basis of a considerable class of 
gentiles in -onius (Fisch, die Lat. nom. pers. auf -0, -onis, p. 156). 
As Fisch has pointed out, these cognomina are mainly of plebeian 
origin, and it is therefore not surprising that many of them which 
formed gentiles have not come down to us. We may also reasona- 
bly expect this to' be true, though to a less degree, in our other 
groups of gentiles derived from cognomina. There is little doubt, 
however, that many gentiles in -onius do not really go back to cog- 
nomina in -0, but that after a large number of gentiles in -onius, from 
cognomina in 0, had come into use, -onius came to be regarded as a 
gentile-forming suffix and was added to any kind of cognomen. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 119 

This tendency was helped by the fact that there frequently existed, 
by the side of the cognomen in -o, a shorter one of different stem. 
Thus beside Rufio, Barbo, Silo, Scribo, Aprio, Dentio, etc., there 
appear Rufus, Barba, Silus, Scriba, Aj>er, Denter, etc. Several of 
our names in -onius are plainly Etruscan, as Achonius, Thoceronia. 
Creonius and Critonius suggest the Greek KpeW and Kpirwv. Colonius 
may be referred to colonus, which is frequently used as a cognomen, 
and Patronius to patronus. For Aponius we find the cognomen 
Aponus, Favonius is evidently from Favonius, the west wind. 
Voconius is probably to be connected with the place Voconia. Of 
the other names in -onius by far the greater number are from Oscan 
territory, or appear to come from plebeian Latin. A glance at the 
following list will make their character quite clear : 

Antonius ; Apronius (cf . cognn. Aprio, Aper) ; Aptronius (cf . CIL. 
i, 81, where the name is derived from amptruare) ; x Autronius ; 
Balonius (cf. cogn. Bala, and balare, to bleat) ; Caesonius, from 
Kaeso ; Cauponius or Coponius, from Caupo ; Cosconius ; Qusonius, 
which may be for Cosonius, an early spelling of Cossonius, from cogn. 
Cosso, CIL. iii, 5542; Dexsonius (cf. Dexo, Cic. Verr. ii, 5, 42 and 
gens Dexia, Gic. Fam. vii, 23, 4) ; Gargonius, found in Campania 
and Picenum (cf. Garganus, a mountain in Apulia) ; Holconius, 
found in Lucania (cf. holcus, Gk. oAkos, a kind of grain); Hordionius 
or Hortionius, from hordeum, barley ; Laronius ; Numistronius, from 
Numistro, a town in Lucania ; Numonius or Nummonius, from cogn. 
Nummus ; Paconius ; Petronius, from petro, a rustic ; Pomponius, per- 
haps from pompa; 2 Ragonius (cf. raga, a form of bracd); Salonius, 
irom*salo 'salt-dealer,' from sal; Scalponius, from scalpere, to en- 
grave ; Scribonius, from scribo, a writer ; Sempronius ; Socconius, from 



1 Deecke, Etrusk. Forsch. u. Stud, iii, 60, attempts to derive this name from 
the Etruscan, citing the Etruscan name Apatru. 

2 We find great difficulty in deriving Pomponius and Pompeius from an Oscan 
numeral *pompe 'five.' We should expect the forms to be made from the 
ordinal *pompts, in which case the -t- would remain, as we actually find in Pontius, 
Lat. Quintius. On the other hand, we hesitate to derive these names from a Gk. 
word pompa. An Italic derivative *pompo ' one who takes part in a procession,' 
a very proper word for a cognomen, is hard though perhaps not impossible ; cf. 
Comatus, Lamas, etc. 



120 George Davis Chase. 

soccus, a slipper, connected with the stage of comedy ; Trebonius or 
Terebonius (the latter form, with e developed before the r, & process 
regular in Oscan but extremely rare in Latin, shows the name to be 
probably Oscan ; that it is not, however, to be connected with the 
Oscan triibom, a building, is proved by the short quantity of the e in 
Hor. Sat. i, 4, 114, Trebdnt) ; Teltonius ; Vatronius, from vatrax, 
' having crooked feet ' ; Vennonius, from venno ' one who rides in a 
benna ' (cf. Paul, ex Fest., p. 32) ; Villonius, from villus ' shaggy hair.' 
The ending -eius is used to form a large number of gentile names. 
They are of most frequent occurrence in Oscan territory and are 
often spelled -aius, as Anaius, Popaius (for Pompeius), Ulaius, Vir- 
riaius, Vibidaius. Inasmuch as the root part, also, of most of these 
names is Oscan, we conclude that it was a regular Oscan formation. 
Praenomina in -as, which were -a stems, were common in Oscan, as 
Cahas (Zvetaieff, 1 232), Tanas {ibid. 102), Voltai (ibid. 72 b), a 
Faliscan genitive singular. These formed gentiles in -aius in Oscan, 
and -eius in Faliscan. Thus from Maras (Indg. Forsch. ii, p. 435, vi, 
1. 8) we find the Oscan forms Marahis (ibid, iii, 1. 6), Marahieis (ibid. 
v, 1. 1), and Marah . . , . . rahiis (ibid, vi, 11. 4, 6, 8), Maraies (Zvet. 
249), Maraiieis (ibid. 95), while the Faliscan form Mareio appears in 
Zvet. 76. So also Pompaiians (Zvet. 143) is in Latin Pompeianus. 
In Latin these gentHes were oftenest written -eius, but sometimes 
evidently -ius, since we have Coccius beside Cocceius, Luccius beside 
Lucceius, Cicerius beside Cicereius, etc. Whether these actually 
came to be -lus in Latin may be doubted, since such names as 
Marius may not stand for Oscan Maraius, but may be a separate, 
shorter formation (cf. Lindsay, Lat. Lang. p. 320). There is no 
doubt that the ending -eius became very much extended in its appli- 
cation, and came to be applied to stems which did not end in -a ; 
that is, that the whole ending -eius came to be looked upon as a gen- 
tile-forming suffix. In Paelignian and Umbrian the same formation 
took a somewhat different shape, — in the nominative -aes, — and 
gave a number of Latin names in -aeus. Thus Paelignian Anaes is 
Latin Annaeus, standing for an older Annaios. The following is the 
list of gentiles in -eius in CIL. i : 



1 Tnscriptiones Italiae Inferioris dialecticae, Moscow, 1886. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 121 

Aeteius ; Afreius (cf . cognn. Afer, A/rd) ; Alleius (cf . gens Allid) ; 
Anaius ; Appuleius (cf . cognn. Appulo, Apulus) ; Atteius or Ateius, 
from cogn. Atta; Canuleius (cf. cogn. Kanus); Carmeius ; Cicereius 
(cf . cognn. Cicero, Cicera) ; Cocceius or Coccius ; l Crepereius (cf . 
Crepereia, and Varro, Z. Z., vi, 5) ; Egnatuleia (cf. Egnatia, a town 
in Apulia) ; Epuleius (cf. Epulo, Verg. ^^w. xii, 459, and the fem. 
cogn. Epuld) ; Farsuleius (cf . gens Farsia, farsus ' stuffed ') ; Fon- 
teius ; Heioleius ; Mitreius ; Numoleius (cf . JVuma, Numitor, Numerius, 
etc.) ; Modieius ; Iteius or Itius ; Laufeius ; Licculeius ; Livineius ; 
Luceius or Luccius (cf. Luca, a Lucanian ; cogn. Zuaus") • Maneius 
or Manneius (cf. the goddess Mand) ; Orucukius, a plebeian spell- 
ing for Aurunculeius, from the city of Aurunca on the border of 
Latium and Campania (cf. Zvet. 266, Aurunkud ; also gens Aurun- 
ceid) ; Pabateius ; Pactumeius ; Patoleius s Popaius or Pompeius (see 
Pomponius p. 119); Proculeius, from praen. Proculus ; Saufeius ; 
Sueius ; Tetteius (cf. Zvet. 1, Teh's, Sabine for Tettius, and teta, a 
dove) ; Tondeius, from tondeo, to shave ; Turpleius (cf. Turpilius and 
cogn. Turpid) ; Ulaius ; Vargunteius (cf. cogn. Varguld) ; Vereius (cf . 
vereias, Zvet. 81) ; Verguleius (cf. Vergellus, a river of Apulia) ; JV- 
tuleius ; Virriaius (cf. Oscan Virriiis, Zvet. 128, for Virreius); 
Vibuleius (cf. Vibius, an Oscan praenomen) ; Vibidaius (cf. Vibidis, 
Zvet. 30) ; Vineius ; Vinuleius (cf. vinnulus, ' delightful ') ; Volteius, 
from praenomen JW/a (Zvet. 72). 

A considerable number of cognomina in -fc/#.r, particularly adjec- 
tives such as Avidus, Calidus, Lepidus, Lucidus, Placidus, Umidus, 
etc., formed gentiles in -M«j (see Zimmermann, in Wolflin's Archiv 
f. Lat. Lex. vi, p. 270). These became so numerous that-M«.r was 
looked upon as a regular gentile-forming suffix, and was used in 



1 If we suppose this name to stand for Cotteius (cf. the confusion of Accius 
and Attius), it may be derived from Cotta ; cf. Zvet. 239, kottcitjis, gen. sing. We 
cannot, however, suppose this name to be exactly the same as Cocceius, for Lat. 
-eius cannot be equivalent to the Osc. -its in such names as Viinikiis. Cf. also 
CIL. x, 1 135, D. Cottius D.f. Gall. Flaccus, and 3776, M. Cottius M. f. 

2 Or they may be connected with the praenomen Lucius, in Oscan Luvikis. 

8 Cf. CIL. ix, 967, M. Paculeio Q.f., and the Oscan praenomen Paakul, Lat. 
Paculus, Zvet. 138. The correspondence of c and t might possibly be explained 
by the influence of the following /, as in poculum < * po-tlom. 



122 George Davis Chase. 

cases where it could have no place in the etymology of the word. 
No doubt the relation of these -idius gentiles to the -idus cognomina 
was lost in the popular consciousness, and Lucidius was connected 
directly with Lucius or luceo ; Placidius, Vmidius, etc., with placeo, 
umeo, without recognizing the intervening -idus. When the ending 
-idius was applied to vowel stems a diphthong resulted, as in Ottei- 
dius, Poppaedius. Whether these gentiles formed by the suffix -idius 
were derived from other gentiles in -ius or from cognomina, as, for 
example, whether Longidius was derived from the gentile Longius or 
the cognomen Longus, is a question which will engage our attention 
later. The following is the list in CIL. i, first of genuine -idius 
names, secondly the larger number of analogical forms : 

Ofdius, or Aufidius, from Aufidus, the river in Apulia ; Calidius, 
from cogn. Caldus, for Calidus ; Lucidius, from cogn. Lucidus ; 
Afiedius (cf. gens Affid) ; Aiedius (cf. gens Aia, cogn. Aiuld) ; Aledius 
for Allidius (cf. gens Allid) ; Alfidius (cf. gens Alfia, in Latin Albia, 
from cogn. Alius) ; Anaiedius (cf. gens Anaid) ; Atiedius (cf. gens 
Attia, and Attidium, a town in Umbria) ; Novelkdius (cf. gens 
Novellia and cogn. Novellus) ; Caesidius (cf. gens Caesia, from 
caesius, ' steel-gray (eyed)' ; Canidius (cf. gens Cania, cogn. Kanus) ; 
Clandia for * Clanidia, an Etruscan name (cf. gens Clania, of Etrus- 
can origin, and Clanis, a river of Etruria) ; Considius (cf. gens 
Consia, from cogn. Consus, which was also the name of a Roman 
divinity) ; Crustidius, from crusta ; Epidius (cf . gens Epid) ; .Fufldius 
(cf. gens Fufid) ; Hosidius (cf. cogn. Hosius) ; Longidius (cf. gens 
Longia, cogn. Longus) ; Otteidius (cf. gens Otteia, cogn. £?##) ; 
Pisidius (cf. cogn. /Vw) ; Pompaedius and Poppaedius (see Pompo- 
nius,p. 119 ; Popidius ; Pumidius (cf. pumilio, a dwarf) ; Tamudius ; 
Tetdius or Titidius (cf. Titius) ; Trutedius ; Turpidius (cf. gens -7k/-- 
//'//«) ; Vebidius, from Vibius, praenomen and gentile. 

From diminutive cognomina in -«/«*• arose gentiles in -27mm 1 , as 
Rufllius from rufulus, Caecilius from Caeculus, Rutilius from Rutilus, 
etc., and thus arose, as in the case of -M«j, a gentile ending -*/«« 
which was often applied without the intermediate aid of the cogno- 
men in -tilus. Since the cognomina were very frequently formed in 
the double diminutive -illus, -ellus, gentiles are also frequent in -illius, 
-ellius. In many cases of inscriptions, where a single / is written 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 123 

for the double, it is often difficult to tell which form is the basis. 
For such names as Quintilius, Sextilius it is evident that the basis 
is Quintilius, Sextulus, and not the adjectives quintllis, sextllis. We 
will first give those names which seem most clearly of the -ilius type : 

Aemilius, from aemulus, a rival ; Aesqullius, for Esquilius (cf. 
Esquiliae, one of the hills of Rome) ; Amelius ; Ancilius (cf. cogn. 
Ancus ; the Anculi were gods who ministered to other gods) ; 
Aquilius (cf. cogn. Aquild) ; Baebilius (cf. gens Baebia and cogn. 
Babilus) ; Bouftlius (cf. gens Bovia, or perhaps from a cogn. 
pov<j>iXoi) ; Caecilius (cf. gens Caecia, cogn. Caecus ; Caeculus founded 
Praeneste, ' unde putant Caecilios ortos,' Paul, ex F. p. 44) ; Caltilius 
(cf . gens Caltid) ; Cartilius, evidently of Etruscan origin ; Carvilius (cf . 
cogn. Carbo) ; Cloelius, Cloulius, or Cluilius (Liv. i, 50, says it was an 
Alban family ; Paul, ex F. p. 55, derives it from Clolius, the companion 
of Aeneas) ; Garcilius ; Gavilius (cf . gens Gavia, cogn. Gavillus) • 
Hostilius (cf. gens Hostia, cogn. Hostllus, praen. Hostus) ■ Laetilius 
(cf. gens Laetia, cognn. Laetus, Laetilius) ; Lavilius (cf. gens Lavid) ; 
Maecilius (cf. gens Maecid) ; Magilius (cf. gens Magid) ; Mamilius 
(cf. gens Mamia or Mammia, cognn. Mamus, Mammus, Mammuld) ; 
Manlius for Manilius (cf. praen. Manius, fem. cogn. Manila, CIL. 
viii, 5795 ; cogn. Maniius, CIL. x, 4048); Metilius (cf. gens Metia, 
praen. Mettus, cogn. MeBillus, CIL. xii, 5686); Mutilius from cogn. 
Mutilus (cf. Mutila, a town of Istria) ; Nomelius ; Opsilius (cf. gens 
Opsid) ; Otacilius (cf. gens Otacidid) ; Bacillus (cf. gens Pacid) ; 
Poplius or Pompilius (cf. gens Popidid) ; Procilius ; Quinctilius, from 
praen. Quintus ; Ruftlius, from cogn. Rufus, rufulus ; Rutilius, from 
cogn. Rutilus ; Sextilius (cf. gens Sextia, praen. Sextus) ; Sectilius; 
Statilius (cf. praen. Statius) ; Tongilius (at Praeneste, tongere meant 
noscere, Fest. p. 356) ; Turpilius (cf. cogn. Turpio); Tutulius, from 
/«#«•, safe, or Osc. /iwfc, people ; Urbilius; Utilius ; Vecilius (cf. 
Vecilius, a mountain in Latium ; the name, however, is found in 
Etruria with the praenomen f^., which makes it almost certainly of 
Etruscan origin) ; Vehilius ; Vergilius, cf. Vergiliae, and Vergellus, a 
river in Apulia. 

A few names in -#/*kf appear to be obtained directly from cog- 
nomina in -«/«j, as Cantulius (cf. cantulus, a little song) ; Segulius ; 
Tamulius (cf. fewu, a swelling in the feet, Fest. p. 360). 



124 George Davis Chase. 

Names in -illius, -ellius also have the appearance of being formed 
directly from cognomina. It is not probable that this ever became 
a movable suffix for the formation of gentiles. The list is as 
follows : 

Arellius ; Avillius from Aulus <* Avulus ; Caesellius, from cogn. 
Caesulla; 1 Camellius or Camelius, from cogn. Camillus ; Cascellius 
(cf. cogn. Casca, from cascus, old-fashioned, dimin. *cascellus) ; Duil- 
lius, for Duellius, from bellum ; Eppillius or Epilius, from cogn. 
Epillus (cf . gens Eppid) ; Obellius, perhaps from ovillus ' belonging 
to sheep ' ; Of ellius, Ofillius, or Qffilius, from cogn. Ofella, dimin. of 
offa, a morsel; Petuellius ; Popillius (cf. Popellus), but also Poplius ; 
Ravellius, from cogn. Ravilla, from ravulus ' rather hoarse ' ; Rupil- 
lius, perhaps a mistake for Rupilius ; Rusticelius (cf. rusticellus, 
clownish); Sepullius ; Visellius ; Vitellius (cf. cogn. Vitulus; vitel- 
lus, a little calf) ; Petillius stands doubtless for Pettlius, from pettlus, 
slender. 

Cornelius might be understood as representing a class formed 
from adjectives in -elis, as crudelis, but we have no instance to prove 
that such a class existed. It may belong to the ilius class and be 
explained as standing for * corne-elius, where by fusion a long e 
results from the two short, as in prendo, from pre-kendo, etc.; cf. 
Lindsay, Lat. Lang. p. 224. Cornelius would then be formed from 
a cogn. *Corneus 'horny.' Cf. the cognomen Corneolus, a diminu- 
tive of the same, which postulates a Corneus. 

In the case of Aurelius it is noteworthy that we have the adjective 
aureus and the cognomen Aureolus to compare, but it is likely that 
Aurelius comes from a form older than either of these two. For a 
discussion of the relation between Aurelius and Gk. 17X10?, see Cur- 
tius, Gk. Etym. 401, and Paul, ex F. p. 23, ' Aureliam familiam ex 
Sabinis oriundam a Sole dictam putant, quod ei publice a populo 
Romano datus sit locus, in quo sacra faceret Soli ; qui ex hoc Auseli 
dicebantur, ut Valesii, Papisii pro eo quod est Valerii, Papirii.' Cf. 
also the Lettish heathen name AuseMs, from austs ' to grow light,' 
'to dawn.' 



1 Caesullae were girls with gray eyes (Fest. 274). 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 125 

A peculiar difficulty is presented by a small group of names in 
-thus which are usually given -ilius in modern lexica, as, for example, 
in Forcellini's Onomasticon, but for which the long -l- may be proved. 
The group includes Manllius (Juv. vi, 243, Manilla), Lucllius (Juv. 
i, 165 : Hor. Sat. i, 4, 6 ; 10, 2 ; ii, 1, 62), Servllius (CIL. vi, 358, 
SERVlLIO, and often Serveilius in CIL. i), Acilius, Atilius, and 
Venllius. Latin inscriptions show in these words a genuine long 1, 
represented by simple I in the oldest inscriptions, and by the spurious 
diphthong ei for a period after the time of the Gracchi. We believe 
that these were made with the ending -ilius from praenomina in -ius, 
but that analogy operated not in the same manner as with the pre- 
ceding class in -ilius. It seems probable that the great majority in 
our preceding list were formed from other already existing gentiles 
as follows: from the cognomina Caecus and Caeculus were derived 
the gentiles Caecius and Caecilius. Then, by a simple rule of three, 
Caecius : Caecilius = Gavius : Gavilius, or as Manius (gentile): Manl- 
lius i> Manlius. In the case of those in -ilius, however, the construc- 
tion was always from the praenomen, and the proportion was under- 
stood as follows : Hostus : Hostilius = Manius (praenomen) : *Mani- 
ilius~> Manllius. So Lucllius, Manllius, and Servllius are explained 
as formed by the gentile suffix -ilius directly from the praenomina 
Lucius, Manius, and Servius. Whether Atilius and Acilius are merely 
two forms of the same name is an open question (cf. the confusion 
of Attius and Accius). In inscriptions Acilius is always written with 
a single i : in Greek inscriptions the spelling varies between 'AxtXios, 
'AkuXios, and 'AiceXtos. The quantity of the i appears from Juv. iv; 
94, 'proximus eiusdem properabat Acilius aevi.' Atilius appears 
CIL. i, 1027, as Ateilius. These names postulate a praenomen 
*Acius or *Atius which is borne out by the constant spelling Atiedius, 
CIL. i, 182 ; 1 167 ; ix (frequently), and Zvet. 41. Venilius appears 
CIL. i, 580, in a Greek inscription, as Veneilius; elsewhere as 
Venelius. No certain reliance can be placed on the Greek form; 
Mommsen thinks it a mistake. We know of the name Venllia as the 
mother of Turnus and also the wife of Janus. Cf. also Varr. ap. 
Aug. Civ. Dei, vii, 22, ' Venllia unda est quae ad litus venit.' 

From cognomina in -inus were formed gentiles in -inius, as follows: 
Cacclnius, from Caeclnus ; Canlnius, from Canlnus (rare ; cf. cogn. 



126 George Davis Chase. 

Cams) ; Crispinius, from Crisplnus ; Fulcinius, from Fulcina; Flavi- 
nius, from Flavinus ; Gabinius, from Gabinus ; Graecinius, from 
Graecinus ; Latinius, from Latinus; Mesclnius ; Obinius, for Ovi- 
nias (?), from ovinus ; Vatinius, cf. vatius ' bow-legged ' ; Verglnius 
(cf. Sil. Ital. xiii, 824); Atinius. 

A good number of gentiles were formed also in -inius from cogno- 
mina in -inus, as Asinius, Geminius, etc., from Asinus, Geminus, and 
from these, it seems, there arose the ending -inius, which was often 
used to derive a gentile from another gentile. The following are those 
in -inius of both kinds : 

Asinius, from cogn. Asina ; Arsinius, Orsinius, Etruscan names (cf. 
cogn. Arsinus) ; Flaminius, from cogn. Flamen; Geminius, from Gemi- 
nus; Licinius, from Licinus ; Sanguinius, from sanguineus 'blood-red ' ; 
Voltinius (cf . tribus Voltinid) ; Anainius (cf. gens Anaia, of Etruscan 
origin) ; Aninius, Anninius (cf. gens Annid) ; Caesinius (cf. gens Caesid) ; 
Cantinius (cf. gens Catttid) ; CarfiniusQ) ; Catinius (cf. gens Catid) ; 
Cominius ; Fabrinius ; Fafinius (cf. gens Fafid) ; Faltinius (cf. cogn. 
Falto) ; MagoZnius (cf. gens Magullia, cogn. Magula, from Magd) ; 
Novercinius, from novercus; Ogulnius; Popnius for Popinius ; Safinius; 
Senenius ; Sepstinius; Tamsinius (cf. gens Tampid) \ Titinius (cf. gens 
27/fo, praen. Titus) ; Volminius or Voluminius, from Volumnus, the 
tutelary divinity of new-born infants. 

From cognomina in -<?.*•, -few, as *Cornufex, and in -£«w, as Caedicus, 
Verg. ^4<?«. x, 747, there arose gentiles in -fozw, and on the analogy 
of these, gentiles were formed from other gentiles by means of the 
suffix -?«W. Thus we have the following : 

Caedicius (cf. gens Caedia and cogn. Caedicus) ; Coricius ; Crassi- 
cius(ci. gens Crassia and cogn. Crassus) ; Cornuficius ; Fabricius (cf. 
gens Fabria and fabrica, a workshop) ; Fuflcius (cf. gens Fufid) ; 
Limbricius ; Minicius (cf. gens Minid) ; Mundicius (cf. gens Mundia, 
cogn. Mundus) ; Muncius for Municius (cf. gens Munia, cogn. Munus, 
Munnus) ; Peticius (cf. .ftto, the goddess of prayer) ; Poplicius, Po- 
blicius, Publicius ; Larcius, for Laricius, from /<z«w;, -&■«•; Sulpicius; 
Septicius; Selicius; Vinicius ; Vespicius (cf. wj/ta 'corpse-bearer') ; 

The gentiles in -«/««• have as their basis perfect passive participles 
in -#».r used as cognomina, or nouns in -«■, -//«•, as follows : 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. \2J 

Condetius, from Conditus ; Domitius, from Domitus ; Equitius, from 
Eques ; Tarquitius (Etruscan) ; Caltius, tor Calitius (?). 

Names in -atius come from cognomina in -as, atis derived from 
names of places (see Mowat, Mimoires de la sociiti de linguistique de 
Paris, 1868, p. 94), or from passive participles in -atus : 

Baebatius ; Caf atius (Etruscan ; cf . cogn. Cafd) ; Lutatius, from 
*lutatus 'muddied,' from lutum; Ocratius (cf. cognn. Ocra, Ocrea, 
Ocraterus) ; Munatius ; Curiatius (cf. Curiates, a people of Umbria) ; 
Egnatius, from the town Egnatia; Horatius (cf. Mowat, /. c. p. 95), 
from Foretii, or Hora, the goddess ; Folcatius ; Minatius, a praenomen 
in Campania (cf. Veil, ii, 16) ; Veratius. 

Besides the formations which we have already listed there are 
others which are less frequently found, and which perhaps never 
developed movable suffixes, such as -erius < -esius, as in Valerius, 
Papirius, Numerius; -ennius < -endius, from gerundives in -endus, as 
Herennius, Cupiennius ; -ustius, as in Fidustius, etc. The great mass 
of Roman gentiles were formed from other already existing names 
by the simple ending -ius, and as such we will consider the rest of 
the gentiles which we have collected. A large number of these are 
certainly of non-Latin origin, and our work will be made more com- 
prehensible if these are first sorted out, as many as possible, from 
the others. We will first give those which both from their form and 
the locality in which they are found are proved to belong to the 
Oscan dialect : 

Alfius, Lat. Albius, from cogn. Albus ; Ansius ; Antracius (cf. 
Anthrax, ap. Plaut.) ; Arrius ; Asuius ; Babbius (cf. Zvet. 105, 
B\a~]bbiis, Oscan, and cogn. Babius ; babulus, a fool) ; Blasius (cf . 
cogn. Blasius, Blasio, Blaesus (?) ; Blossius ; Braccius ; Bruttius (cf . 
cognn. Bruttio, Bruttius) ; Calasius (cf. Calatia, a town in Campa- 
nia) ; Cluvius, Clovius, from Cluvia, a town in Samnium ; Consius, 
from Consus, an ancient Italian divinity ; Eprius ; Fisius (cf. Fisus, 
Fisius, an Umbrian divinity) ; Fufius ; Furrius ; Gavius, from prae- 
nomen Gaius ; Grusius ; Hedius ; Heidius ; Herennius, from cogn. 
Herennus < *herendus, a gerundive of the Oscan verb herio, to wish 
(cf. the Lat. Cupiennius) ; Herius, from the Oscan praenomen Herius, 
from herio; Macius (cf. cogn. Macus, Macio, and the Oscan name 
Magius) ; Maius ; Messius (cf. cogn. Messor); Mevius ; Minius (cf. 



128 George Davis Chase. 

Zvet. 121, Miinieis, Oscan, and the Italian praenomen Minius) ; 
Monnius (cf. cognn. Monno, Monnus, Monnulus) ; Munnius (cf. cogn. 
Munnus); Nasennius, for -endius (see Herennius, p. 127); Nellius ; 
Nelpius ; Niraemius ; Novius, from the Osc. praen. Nbvius ; Numi- 
sius,Numpsius, for Lat. Numerins ; Occius ; Orcevius, Orcuius ; Orfius 
for Lat. Orbius (cf. cogn. Or/a) ; Pacius, Paquius, from the Osc. 
praen. Pacius ; Pandius (cf. the goddess Panda) ; Papius (cf. cogn. 
Papilus) ; Patlacius ; Pettius ; Pontius, for Lat. Quinctius (Pontus < 
*Pomptus'=\AX.. Quintus); Pulius, Pullius (cf. pullus, dark-colored); 
Raecius ; Pains ; Ronius ; Rnntius ; Sadrius ; Satrius ; Salvius, from 
Osc. praen. Salvius; Stlaccius ; Telepius ; Taracius ; Toutius, Tutius, 
from Osc. tovto, people ; Trosius ; Tuccius ; Turius ; Urnannius, from 
* Urnannus, from an Osc. verb *urnaum; Utius ; Vedius; Veserius, 
from Veseris, a town in Campania ; Vesvius (cf. Vesuvius, the vol- 
cano in Campania ; Vesulliais, Zvet. 93 ; Vesulias, an Osc. goddess, 
Zvet. in, b) ; Vibius, from Osc. praen. Vibius ; Vinucius (cf. Viinikiis, 
Zvet. 143); Vitrovius ; Volusius, from praen. Volusus ; Vulius; Pe- 
scennius, Percennius, Pessennius, from Osc. *persccnnus (Lat. precandus). 

A large number of names are certainly not of Roman origin, but 
belong to some of the other Italic dialects. We will class together 
those which are evidently from Umbria, Picenum, the Sabines, and 
the southern dialects of Latium, distinguishing where it is possible : 

Aburius ; Aebutius ; Aigius, Volscian ; Ampius ; Andius, Picenum ; 
Annavius, Annius, Picenum; Aprufenius ,- 1 Audasius; Aufustius^ (cf. 
gens Aufia, Aufillid) ; Babrius, Picenum ; Camurius, from camur 
' turned inward ' (of the toes) ; Cincius, or Cintius; Cossutius (cf. the 
Volscian name Cossuties, Zvet. 47 ; cognn. Cossus, Cosso, Cossinus, and 
gentt. Cossius, Cosseius, Cossicius, Cossitius, Cossinius, Cossidenius, and 
Cossonius) ; Crepusius, from Crepuscus < born at twilight ' (cf . creper, 
Varr. L. L. vi, 5) ; Decius, an old Ital. praenomen (cf. Liv. xxiii, 7, 
10, Decius Magius) ; Faderius (cf. gens Fadia, Fadena, cogn. Fadus) ; 
Fuulius, Umbrian (ci.fuligo, soot) ; Geganius, an Alban family, Liv. 



1 From *Apro-fen, boar-killer. Cf. Gk. ipbvos, Skt. {g)kan, and see Brugmann, 
Vergt. Gram, i, 319. The word appears to show a very interesting survival of 
an Indo-European name. 

2 The same ending -ustius appears as in Fidustius, q. v. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 129 

1, 30; Gellius ; Gessius ; Liguius; Lucretius (cf. Lucretilis, a moun- 
tain among the Sabines) ; Maecius, Picenum (cf. cogn. Maecinus) ; 
Malms, Mallius (see Mommsen, ap. Borghesi, CEuvr. ii, 219, n.) ; 
Mimesius, Picenum ; Mindius ; Modius ; Nerius, Umbrian (cf . cogn. 
Nerd) ; Obulcius (cf. Obulco, a town in Spain) ; Oppius ; Opisius, 
Sabine (cf. cognn. Opera, Opita, praen. Opiter) ; Orcunius ; Ovius, 
Paelignian (cf. Zvet. 21 and 27, and the Oscan praenomen Ovius); 
Pilius, Peilius ; Poinisius, Picenum; Rustius ; Sangurius, Picenum; 
Seppius ; Staberius ; Tadius ; Teidius ; Tettienius ; Tetius ; Tillius ; 
Titius, Sabine, from praen. Titus ; Tampius (cf. cogn. Tampilus) ; 
Tattius, Sabine. 

The following are Etruscan : 

Abelesius ; Ancharius (cf. the goddess Ancharia) ; Arnustius, from 
Arnus, a river in Etruria ; Arruntius, Etruscan Arruns ; Clanius, 
from Clanis, a river of Etruria; Larthius, from Etruscan Lars ; Otius ; 
Proenius ; Sudernius ; Tanius, Thanius ; Telutius ; Veisinnius ; Vel- 
tius ; Vensius ; Vessius ; Vbkacius, Volchacius. 

From Genua we have the two native names Meticanius and Pelia- 
nius. 

Of gentiles which are Roman, or which are found at Rome and 
cannot be shown to have originated elsewhere, there are the following : 

Aelius ; Agrius, from ager (cf. cogn. Agellus) ; Albius, from 
cogn. A/bus; Allius, from the old Latin name Alius (cf. Deecke, 
Etrusk. Forsch. u. Stud, v, p. 104) ; Antestius, Atistius, from antistes, 
a priest; Antius, from Antius, the adjective from Antium; Appius, 
from praen. Appius, originally Sabine ; Aprius, from cogn. Aper ; 
Aqutius, for Acutius, from cogn. Acutus ; Artius from ater, black (Varr. 
L. L. viii, 80 ; x, 44) ; Attius, from Sabine Atta, Attus ; Aulius, from 
praen. Aulus; Avius, from avus (cf. cognn. Avitus, Aulus < * Avulus, 
Aviold) ; Axsius, from * axa (cf. cogn. Axilla) ; Baebius (cf. cogn. 
Babilus V) ; Caeicius, for Caecius, from cogn. Caecus ; Caedius, from 
caedo; Caelius, cf. Caelius mons, said to be named after the Tuscan 
Caeles Vibenna ; Caesius, from cogn. Caesius 'bluish-gray-eyed'; Caius, 
from the praen. Gaius ; Calpurnius (cf. Paul, ex F. p. 36, 'a Calpo, 
Numae regis filio ') ; Calvius, from cogn. Calvus ; Casius, Cassius, 
from cogn. Cassus ' empty,' older Casseius > Cassius ~> Cassius 
(cf. Ritschl, de Sepulcro Pur.) ; Cqtius, from cogn. Catus (cf. Cato 



130 George Davis Chase. 

and Catulus) ; Caucius (cf. caucus, a drinking vessel) ; Cauca, a 
city of Spain) ; Cervius, from cervus (cf. cogn. Cervid) ; Cestius, 
from cogn. Cestus ; Cipius, from Cipus, a fabled Roman praetor ; 
Cispius (cf. Cispius mons, one of the peaks of the Esquiline) ; Clau- 
dius, Clodius, from cogn. Claudus ; Coilius, Coelius, Caelius (cf . Caelius 
mons) ; Comicius, from cogn. Comicus (?) ; Cordius, from cogn. 
Cordus ; Coriarius, from coriarius, a tanner ; Cossius, from cogn. 
Cossus ; Cottius, from cogn. Cl?## / Cupiennius, from cupiendus (cf . 
Osc. Herennius) ; Cupius (cf. cognn. Cupio, Cupitus) ; Curius, from 
cognn. Curius, Curio ; Curtius, from curtus, short ; Decumius, from 
praen. Decimus ; Deidius, from cogn. Z?z'</(Z (?) ; Dindius (cf. cogn. 
Dindid) ; Drusius, from cogn. Drusus ; Gallius, from cogn. Gallus ; 
Granius (cf . granum, grain ?) ; Faberius, from cogn. Faber ; Fabius 
(cf. cogn. Fabatus, from /aba) ; Fannius, for *Fadinius~>*Fadnius~> 
Fannius (cf. cogn. Fadus, and gentes Fadia, Fadonia, Fadiend) ; 
Fidustius, from Jidusta, ' a fide denominata ea quae maximae fidei 
erant ' (Paul. «* .# p. 89 *) ; Flavius, from cogn. Flavus ; Fulvius, from 
cogn. Fulvus ; Furius, for older Fusius, from cogn. Fusus (cf. -4fr. 
Furius Fusus, cos. 308, B.C.) ; Furnius, trom/urnus, oven (?); Helvius, 
from cogn. Helva ; Hirtius, from hirtus, shaggy ; Hortensius, from 
cogn. Hortensis, from hortus (?) ; Hostius, from praen. Hostus ; Iulius, 
from lulus, seep. 143 ; Junius, for * luvenius, from cogn. Juvenis ; 
luventius, from cogn. Tuventus (cf. iuventa) ; Laelius, perhaps for 
Lavilius, from the gens Lavia (cf . caelum < * cavilum) ; Laetorius, 
from * laetor (cf . cogn. Laetus) ; Libertius, from Libertus, a servile 
name (cf. cognn. Libertio, Libertinus) ; Ligurius, from cogn. Ligur ; 
Llvius (cf. Itvidus (?), bluish, from /«»«>) ; Lollius, from cogn. Lolla, 
from cogn. Laurus (?) (*Zaurulus > * Laullus > Lollus) ; Lucius, from 
praen. Lucius ;" Lurius, from cogn. Lurus (cf. luridus, sallow) ; 
Luscius, from cogn. Luscus ; Maenius (cf. maena (?), a kind of sea 



1 Pauli, Altital. Stud, ii, 140, thinks that Au/ustius, Fidustius, Rustius, etc., 
show IEur. -z>Aw / cf . Skt. vasistha, frestha, etc. Gk. 4/w<rros, KiXXwrros, Kpirurros, 
etc. 

3 Gentiles derived from praenn. in -z'«j are identical in form, as Lucius, Servius, 
Manius, etc. It is a question whether the forms were transferred without any 
further formative suffix, or whether the Latin gentiles Lucius, etc., stand for an 
earlier Lucius, etc. See the discussion of Marius, Marcius, p. 1 20. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 131 

fish) ; Magnius, from cogn. Magnus; Mamius, Mammius, from cogn. 
Mammus, Mammulus ; Manius, from praen. Manius ; Marcius, from 
praen. Marcus ; Marius (cf. cogn. Maro, Osc. praen. Mara); Memmius, 
from cogn. Memmus ; Minucius ; Mispius; Mucius (cf. miicidus (?), 
snivelling) ; Mulvius ; Mummius, from cogn. Mumtna ; Mustius, 
from cogn. Mustus ; Naevius, from praen. Gnaeus (?) ; Nonius, from 
nonus (cf . Nona, a fem. name) ; Numerius, from praen. Numerius ; 
Numitorius, from cogn. Numitor; Nummius,ixom cogn. Nummus; Octa- 
vius, from cogn. Octavus ; Opimius, from opimus ; Oratius, from cogn. 
Orata ; 1 Orbius, from cogn. Orbus ; Papirius ; Plnarius ; Placentius, 
from placens, charming ; Plaetorius, Pleturius ; Plancius, from cogn. 
Plancus ; Plautius, Plotius, from cogn. Plautus ; Plutius, from 
Plutus (?) ; Pollius, from cogn. Pollus, for Paullus (but cf. also cogn. 
Pollid) ; Porcius, from porcus ; Postumius, from cogn. Postumus ; 
Propertius, an Umbrian name (cf. Buecheler, Umbrica, p. 172, £W.r. 
iter. Propartie, and Prop. iv. i, 125); Prosius (cf. .P/wa (?), the 
goddess presiding over births with the head foremost) ; Pupius, from 
pupus, a child ; Quinctius, from praen. Quinctus ; Ramnius (cf. Ramnes); 
Rancius, Rantius (cf. rancidus, rank smelling) ; Remius, from cogn. 
Remus ; Renius (cf. r^««?j ?) ; Rocius, from cogn. Rocus ; Roscius (cf. 
roscidus (?), dewy) ; Rubius ; Rubrius, from ruber; Rufius, from 
cogn. Rufus ; Rullius, from cogn. Rullus ; Saleivius, from saliva (?) 
(cf. Mucius); Saltorius, from * Saltor, 'dancer'; Secius, from cogn. 
&«« (cf. Wolflin, Archivf. Lat. Lex. vi, p. 269); 5«'«j, from ,S«<z, 
the tutelary divinity of sowing ; Sentius, from xot/w (?), thorny ; 
Septitnius, from cpgn. Septimus; Sergius, from Servius (?) (cf. 
Vanicek, Etym. Worterb. p. 1026); Sertorius, from praen. Sertor ; 
Servius, from praen. Servius ; Sextius, from praen. Sextus ; Silius, 
from cogn. Si/us; Sirtius ; Specius ; Spurius, from praen. Spurius; 
Statius, from cogn. and praen. Statius ; Statorius, from Stator, epithet 
of Mars and Juppiter ; Sucius, from jz^w.r (?), vigor ; Suetius, from 
suetus; Taurius, from cogn. Taurus ; Terentius, from teraw, 'grinder,' 
' thresher ' ; Thorius, from few, muscle, brawn ; Tiburtius, from 



1 Cf. Varr. .ff..ff. iii, 3, 10, sic nostra aetas in quam luxuriam propagavit lepora- 
ria hac piscinas protulit ad mare et in eas pelagios greges piscium revocavit. Non 
propter has appellati Sergius Orata et Licinius Murena ? 



132 George Davis Chase. 

Tiburtes ; Titanius, from Titanus ; Titurius; Tossius, for Tonsius (?), 
from tonsus, shaved ; Tullius, from praen. Tullus ; Ursius, from 
ursus, bear; Valerius, older Valesius (cf. Zvet. 30, Paelig., Valesies), 
from Volesus, praen. (cf. Vblero) ; Valvius ; Varius, from cogn. 
Varus ; Veius, from Veius, adjective from Veii ; Vestorius ; Vettius 
(cf. cogn. Vettd) ; Veturius, from vetus ; Vicensumarius, from the same 
word, a receiver of the tax of the twentieth part ; Vitorius, for Victo- 
rius (?), from cogn. Victor ; Vilius, from vilis (?), trifling ; Vivius, 
from vivus. 

The results of our examination of gentile names may be briefly 
stated as follows : all gentiles, so far as can be proved, are adjectives 
derived from words which were either praenomina, cognomina, earlier 
gentiles, or words of the kind that were used as cognomina. This 
is shown to a degree which must appear very conclusive. We be- 
lieve we have proved that all names which ended in -anus, -anius, 
-ienus, -onius, -eius, -Idius, -ilius, -llius, -ellius, -elius, -inius, -Inius, -icius, 
and -alius were of this kind. We have furthermore shown that a 
large number of names found in Latin sources were certainly not of 
Roman origin, and so do not directly bear on our investigation. Of 
those which are Roman, or cannot be proved otherwise, and which 
end simply in -ius, we have about the following proportion : 

From known cognomina 57 

From known praenomina 19 

Having a common derivation with known cognomina 13 

From words which might have been used as cognomina 47 

Of unknown origin 13 



Total 149 

Of the few unknown there is nothing in the form or appearance to 
mark them as in any way different from the rest ; most of them 
probably belong to non-Latin dialects or are forms worn down by 
long usage into unrecognizable shapes. Our results must convince 
any one that gentilicia could not have existed before the praenomina 
and cognomina, from which they are derived, were already in exist- 
ence, and that they therefore are the representatives of no original 
Indo-European name system. It must be, therefore, since we have 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 133 

excluded cognomina and gentilicia, that in praenomina, if anywhere, 
are to be found the traces of Indo-European names of which we are 
in search. 

V. Praenomina. 

The subject of Roman praenomina early attracted the attention 
of antiquarians and philologists. Varro is known to have written 
a separate work on the subject and has also left us many items 
of interest in his treatise de lingua Latina. The epitome of an 
anonymous liber de praenominibus appended to the work of Val- 
erius Maximus is also of extreme interest, as are numerous ref- 
erences in Quintilian and the later grammarians. The Roman 
writers give us some idea of what among them were considered 
praenomina ; but in attempting etymologies they are often obviously 
so wide of the mark that we cannot but believe that their knowledge 
of the true origin and distinction of praenomina was at least as 
unreliable as our own. Their tendency is to refer the meanings of 
praenomina to circumstances connected with the birth of the child. 
In certain names, as Vopiscus, Spurius, Postumus, Quintus, this is 
obviously correct, and it is probable that their analogical inclina- 
tions, perhaps often aided by a deceptive Volksetymologie, led them 
to attribute similar origins to such names as Marcus, Lucius, Manius. 
We are bound to bear in mind the conclusions of the ancients and to 
treat them with the respect due to their antiquity and to the evident 
honesty with which they were sought ; but we are under no con- 
straint to accept them, or to believe them obtained in the light of 
greater knowledge than our own. The advantages of comparative 
study which we possess, added to the accumulations of centuries, 
make us masters of the subject in hand, as well as of the funda- 
mental principles of linguistic development, to a degree not attained 
by Varro and the other Roman antiquarians. 

Among modern writers the subject has made little advance. 
Hubner (Quaestiones Onomatologicae Latinae, 1854), Mommsen 
{Romische Forschungen, Berlin, 1864), and Schneider {Beitrdge zur 
Kenntniss der Romischen Personennameti) have pursued the investiga- 
tion on the lines of Varro, and have done little more than follow in 
his illustrious footsteps. It is true they have succeeded in gathering 



134 George Davis Chase. 

many facts and items of value and interest ; but they have arrived 
at no general or systematic results which could for a moment be 
admitted as conclusive. Mommsen has gone farthest and has pretty 
well established the extent of the use of praenomina among the 
patrician families at Rome. For a review of the literature of the 
subject and also for examples from Latin literature of some of 
the rarer praenomina I am indebted to a manuscript dissertation 
of Dr. W. T. Piper, deposited in the Harvard University library. 

While the literature of the subject of praenomina contains much 
of value, it also contains errors. It is not our present purpose, how- 
ever, to review and discuss the theories of previous writers, but 
rather, pursuing our own way, to attempt to reach an adequate 
explanation of Latin praenomina in their development and as a 
system. To accomplish this we shall follow the lines we have laid 
out in the preceding chapters on cognomina and gentilicia, except 
that in the present chapter, instead of restricting ourselves to a 
portion of the field, we shall take all the names that are even 
suspected of being praenomina, and try to find out the story which 
they themselves tell. 

Before we take up the names themselves let us recall a few perti- 
nent facts about praenomina. While the gentilicium was the general 
designation to which a person was born and which he perforce 
assumed, derived, as we have seen, from earlier names ; and the 
cognomen was a name given to the individual or his Roman ancestor 
as in some way personally descriptive ; the praenomen was the name 
arbitrarily selected from a limited number, with no other restriction 
as to choice than that it had perhaps been commonly held among 
the members of his family. This fact of arbitrary selection is an 
important one in our discussion ; for it marks the first characteristic 
common to the Latin praenomen and the traditional Indo-European 
name, — a characteristic which at the same time excludes the gentile 
and the cognomen from a possible origin outside of Italic bounds. 
To a Roman the formal sign of a praenomen was its position before 
the gentile. So universally was this the rule that we find no sure 
instance in republican times of the praenomen placed after other 
names, except occasionally in verse, where the exigencies of metre 
constrained the poet, as in the Scipio epitaphs, CIL. i, 29 and 33. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 135 

The name Alfenos Luci, in CIL. i, 831, is of doubtful interpretation ; 
Luci may be a genitive. As in most discussions of praenomina cer- 
tain ones rarely met with in Latin play a prominent part, it is 
desirable at the outset to correct any erroneous impressions about 
the comparative extent to which these names were actually used. 
Perhaps in the first volume of CIL. a greater variety of praenomina 
is found than in any equal space, and the following figures, giv- 
ing the number of occurrences of the several names in that volume, 
will accordingly afford a fairly correct idea of the relative fre- 
quency of their use : Lucius 535, Gains 527, Marcus 404, Quintus 
241, Publius 224, Gnaeus no, Aulus 99, Titus 82, Sextus^j, Manius 
30, Numerius 27, Decimus 22, Servius 19, Tiberius 17, Spurius 16, 
Appius 10, Vibius 14, Postumus 3, Novius 3, Statius 9, Plautus 2, 
Salvius 7, Pacius 4, Epius 2, Vel. (?) 3, Sertor 2, Paulus 2, Trebius 2, 
Nero 3, Marius, Tullus, Pup., Otanius, Lar., Ar., Ovius, Mesius, Vo., 
Va., Opi., Kaeso, Herius, 1 each. 

Add to this list a number of names from Livy, the Incertus Auctor 
de praenominibus, and inscriptions, all of the rarest occurrence, — 
Volusus, Voter 0, Numa, Pet., Gellius, Ancus, Vopiscus, Proculus, 
Geminus, Taurus, Cossus, Caesar, Agrippa, Minius, Minatius, Cordus, 
lulus, Hostus, Septimius, Paustus, Mamercus, and Denter, — and we 
have the largest list that could be claimed as praenomina, — a total 
of sixty-four. In fact no one writer claims so many, but since each 
of the sixty-four has by one or another authority been accredited 
with being a Roman praenomen, we must examine the right of each 
one to be so ranked. 

Many of the names on this list are native in sections of Italy out- 
side of Latium, and oftenest appear in inscriptions from provincial 
localities, but were always liable to be carried to Rome. The 
Etruscans are, according to Deecke and Pauli {Etruskische Forsch- 
ungen und Studieti) responsible for a large number. They certainly 
furnished the following: 

Aruns, very frequent in Etruscan inscriptions in the form Arnth. 
It appears in the name Ar. Sudernius in CIL. i, 1363, from Etruria. 
Cf. also Dion. Hal. iii, 46, TvpprjviKa Oefievos auTots ovo/xaTa, t<3 Aiev 
Apovra, rai Si AvKOfiwva. 

Lar, very common in Etruscan inscriptions in the form Larth. 



136 George Davis Chase. 

Incert. Auct. 4, Lartis praenomen sumptum est a laribus, Tuscum 
autem esse creditum, fuitque consul Lar Herminius cum T. Verginio 
Tricosto. So also Dion. Hal. xi, 51 ; Diod. xii, 27, 1. But Livy, 
iii, 65, gives the name as Sp. Herminius. The name Lar occurs in 
Lar Ancharia, from Etruria, CIL. i, 1371. Cf. Dion. Hal. v, 21, 
Ba<riA.evs KAovcriaiw r<ov Iv Tvpptjvia Aapos ovofw. Uop&ivos iiriK\y)<rtv. 

Otanius occurs only in CIL. i, 1395, in Otanius Larthius, from 
Etruria. 

Vel., an abbreviated praenomen, occurring in inscriptions from 
Etruria in CIL. i, 1345, 1359, 1360, 1377. 

Vo., read by Mommsen in CIL. i, 13 13, in L-VECILIOVOF-, 
and interpreted by him as Volusi filius, but differently read by others. 

A considerably larger number of our list can be proved to be 
purely Oscan praenomina. Their occurrence is mainly in Oscan 
inscriptions, or in Latin inscriptions from Oscan territory, or from 
other quarters of Italy in names which are evidently Oscan. They 
are only occasionally found in Rome or Latium. In Latin they 
nearly all have the ending -ius, which in Oscan is written -is. From 
these were freely derived gentilicia in Oscan in -Us (-tyo-) ; cf. Lind- 
say, Lat. Lang., p. 32 b. Thus from praenomen Statis, in Latin 
Statins, from the stem stat-io-, is derived the gentile Statiis, from the 
stem stat-iyo-, which in Latin is also Statius. In Latin the two forms 
have been reduced to one, in -ius. Thus we have, in the case of 
Oscan names in Latin, seemingly the same name used equally as 
praenomen and gentile. It is only when we turn to the Oscan mon- 
uments that we perceive that one is a derivative of the other (see 
above, the gentile Lucius, p. 130). The following are the praeno- 
mina in our list that are certainly Oscan: 

Vibius. Liv. xxvii, 15, et Bruttiis similis spes veniae facta est, cum 
ab eis Vibius et Paccius fratres longe nobilissimi gentis eius, etc. 
Ibid, xxiii, 6, Vibius Virius, one of the Campanian ambassadors (cf. 
Zvet. 128, the Oscan gentile Virriiis). Liv. xxv, 14, Vibius Accaeus, 
prefect of the Paelignian cohort. Zvet. 126-7, Vibis Smintiis; 83, 
ViibisOhtavis ; 130, Vibis ; 1293, Vibiiai ; 129™, Vibiiai Akviiai. Rhein. 
Mus. xlv, p. 162, Opfl. Vi. Pak. Tantrnnaiom .... In CIL. ix and 
x, containing the inscriptions from Oscan territory, Vibius, occurs as 
gentile 230 times. In Latin inscriptions we find the following : 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 



137 



IL 


, i, 1274. 


V. Blasius. 


Samnium. 


ii 


" 1249. 


V. Popidius. 


Pompeii. 


ii 


" 1181. 


V. Ofellius. 


Volsci. 


ii 


" 625. 


V. Vibidaius. 


Marsi. 


ii 


" 182. 


V. Atiedius. 


tt 


ii 


" iS4ia. 


V. Salvius. 


it 


it 


" 1412. 


V. Solsienus. 


Umbria. 


ii 


" 1286. 


V. Novelledius. 


Paeligni. 


ii 


" 1285- 


V. Aienus. 


<< 


li 


" 1279. 


V. Pettius. 


tt 


ii 


" 75- 


V. Anicius. 


Latium. 


U 


" 1097. 


V. Vedius. 


Rome. 


a 


" 1456- 


V. [ ]etius. 


Aquileia. 


a 


" P-555- 


V. Alpis. 


(unknown.) 



Fast. Cons. 302 a. U. c, P. Sestius Q. f. Vibi n. Capito [Va]ticanus. 

Ephem. Epig. i, 138, L. Villius V. f. ; also ibid. 38, 120, 123, and 
elsewhere. 

Statius. Liv. ix, 44, Statius Gellius imperator Samnitium ; xxiv, 
19, Q. Fabius consul ad Casilinum castra habebat, quod duum 
milium Campanorum et septingentorum militum Hannibalis tene- 
batur praesidio. Praeerat Statius Metius missus ab Cn. Magio 
Atellano, qui eo anno medix tuticus erat ; xxiii, 1, accitus in Hirpi- 
nos a Statio Trebio pollicente se Compsam (in Samnium) traditurum. 
Compsanus erat Trebius, nobilis inter suos. 

Zvet. 98. C (?) Staatiis L. Klar; 128, Statiis Gaviis ; 230, T. 
Statiis ; 109, Statis Cloil. C. ; 233, CTATIC . . . . ; 132, Statie. 
Indo-Germ. Forsch. ii, 1893, p. 437, ii, 1. 9, Stat .... 



IL 


. i, 1266. 


Sta. Raius. 


Apulia. 


a 


" 184. 


Sta. Fl[avius]. 


Marsi. 


a 


" 183. 


St. Magius. 


M 


a 


" 103. 


Sta. Cupius. 


Latium. 


it 


" 1292. 


St. Pomponius. 


Amiternum. 


a 


" 169. 


Sta. Tetius. 


Picenum. 


a 


" 1460. 


St. Mulvius. 


Aquileia. 


a 


" p. 142. 


St. Voc[ ]. 


Spain. 


a 


" P- 555- 


St. Pontius. 


(unknown.) 



138 George Davis Chase. 

These examples, particularly those from Livy, of distinguished 
Samnite leaders, seem at first sight not at all in accord with the 
statement of Aulus Gellius, iv, 20, 12 : Statius autem servile nomen 
fuit. Plerique apud veteres. servi eo nomine fuerunt. Caecilius 
quoque ille comoediarum poeta inclutus servus fuit, et propterea 
nomen habuit Statius. Sed postea versum est quasi in cognomen- 
tum appellatusque est Caecilius Statius. From our earlier evidence 
we are forced to believe that in origin Statius was a common and 
creditable Oscan praenomen. At Rome it might have become 
appropriated by the servile class and so have fallen into disuse 
among free-born people. This is the easier to believe since it was 
native, not at Rome, but in the provinces. In earlier times many 
slaves came from the Oscan states, and the Oscan name was always 
either openly or secretly regarded with hatred and contempt at 
Rome. 

Numerius is an Oscan praenomen actually found in Oscan inscrip- 
tions. Cf. Zvet. 137, [Nijumsis Heirennis and Niumsieis ka . . . . ; 
252, [Map]as IIo/u,7rTies NivprSojis ; and as a gentile, 102, Tanas 
Niumeriis. Its introduction to Rome is explained in Festus, p. 170: 
Numerius praenomen numquam ante fuisse in patricia familia dicitur 
quam vis * Fabius qui unus post sex et trecentos ab Etruscis inter- 
fectos superfuit, inductis* magnitudine divitiarum uxorem duxit 
Otacili Maleventani, ut turn dicebantur, filia * ea condicione ut qui 
primus natus esset praenomine avi materni Numerius appellaretur. 
So also Incert. Auct. 6, Numeriis sola tantummodo patricia familia 
usa est Fabia, idcirco quod trecentis sex apud Cremeram flumen 
caesis, qui unus ex ea stirpe extiterat ducta in matrimonium uxore filia 
Numerii Otacilii Maleventani sub eo pacto ut quem primum sustulis- 
set, ei materni avi praenomen imponeret, obtemperavit. Of the 
twenty-seven examples of Numerius as praenomen in CIL. i, twelve 
come from Campania and Lucania. 

Novius. Zvet. 250, NO-COMNI/NO, Oscan ; 19, VOBELIESNO, 
Paelignian. For the very frequent occurrence on Oscan soil of 
Novius as a gentile, see CIL. x, p. 1048. 

CIL. i, 1 261. Nov. Vibius. Lucania. 

" " 96. Nov. Comenius (?) Latium. 
" " 878. Novi Graeci. " 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 139 

Pacius or Paquius appears to be a purely Oscan praenomen, par- 
ticularly frequent in Lucania. Liv. xxvii, 15, Vibius et Paccius fratres 
longe nobilissimi Bruttiis. Zvet. 86, Pakis Tintiriis ; 1292, Pakiu 
Kluvatiud ; i29 10 , Pakim ; 1299, Pakis ; 202, .... pask Pak ; 89, Pk. 
De. Pk. sovad eftiv upsed, ' Pacius Decius, the son of Pacius, built 
with his own money'; 104, ... . | t. Pk. Laf. Pk. ; 236, A. Aairows 
TlaKprjis, in Latin, A. Laponius Paquii ; 35, CIA-PACIA MINERVA 
(gentile), Paelignian ; see Zvet. Appendix, the conjecture of Deecke 
that C(A)IA is meant ; 43, PA-VI-PACVIES, Marsi; Rhein. Mus.xlv, 
p. 162, Opfl. Vi. Pak. Tantrnnaiom . . . . ; Indogerm. Forsch. ii, 
P- 437. i» L 5> P ak 

CIL. i, 1257. Paq. Aesqullius. Lucania. 

" " 1262. Pac. Vitellius. " 

" " 1542. Paq. Scalponius. " 

" " 183. Pac. Anaiedius. Marsi. 

As an Oscan gentile, Pacius or Paccius appears in Liv. x, 38, Ovio 
Paccio, and very frequently in CIL. x. 

Trebius. Zvet. 246, Tpe/fcs 2. Stores oeoer ; 149, Ni. Trebiis Tr. 
med. tov. ; 252, TR- PLATORIVS- TR ; 128, Tr. Flapiu (?) Vfrn'iis; 
93, Nv. Vesulliais Tr. m. t. ; 34, TR-AMDIS- In an inscription from 
Capua lately discovered {Indogerm. Forsch. iv, p. 259) appears the 
name Tr. Vfrriiefs Kenssurinefs. CIL. i, 1257, L. Cai Tr. f., Lucania. 
Trebius also occurs as a gentile name not infrequently in CIL. x, 
and in Zvet. 149, 198, 200. The name Trebius is probably to be 
connected with the Umbrian divinity Trebus lovius. 

Marius. Liv. xxii, 42, Marium Statilium cum turma Lucana ; xxiii, 
7, Marium Blosium praetorem Campanum. Veil. Pater, ii, 16, 
Marius Egnatius, one of the Italian leaders in the Servile War. CIL. 
i, 1232, C. Pontius Mari f., from Samnium. In Oscan we find not 
Marius but Mara, a common praenomen. It looks as if the Romans 
in using the name changed its Oscan form Mara to Marius to make 
it more in keeping with the other Oscan praenomina Pacius, Novius, 
Ovius, etc. 

Ovius. Liv. ix, 7, Ofillius Calavius Ovii Alius, of Capua ; ibid. 26, 
Calavios Ovium Novium, of Capua ; x, 38, Ovio Paccio, a Samnite ; 



140 George Davis Chase. 

Zvet. 248, Ov. Afaries Ov. ; 252, Ov. Caisidis Ov. ; 21, Saluta Obel. 
Ov. ; 26, Min. Rufries Ov. 1.; CIL. i, 1265, Q. Ovius Ov. f., from 
Apulia. 

Mesius. CIL. i, 1275, Helviae Mesi f., Samnium. As Mesius 
does not elsewhere occur as a praenomen we cannot be certain that 
it was regularly so used in any section of Italy. 

Herius. Li v. xxiii, 43, Herius Pettius, Nolanus ; Veil. Pater, ii, 
16, Herius Asinus dux Italorum ; CIL. i, 62, C. Placentius Her. f., 
from Latium. The name is evidently connected with the Oscan verb 
herio, volo, and the goddess Herentas who corresponded to the Latin 
Venus. The longer form Herennus < * Herendus (cf. Lat. Cupkn- 
nius, CIL. i, 105 1) occurs as an Oscan praenomen in Zvet. 225. 

Minius. Liv. xxxix, 13, Minium et Herennium Cerrinios, Cam- 
panians. In Cato, R. R. 151, Keil following Victorius reads Manius 
Percennius Nolanus. Codd. AR., however, read Minius, and V 
reads Memius. Manius we should expect to find abbreviated ; 
Memius we do not elsewhere find as a praenomen. Minius, from 
the substantiation of the other cases which we cite, appears to be a 
frequent Oscan praenomen and must have been common at Nola. 
We should prefer, therefore, to read Minius in our text of Cato. 
Zvet. 284, Mi. Iefis ML; 251, C. Soies Min.; 124, Min. V . . . ; 
112, Miniefs Kafsilliefs Minatefs; 122, Upfals Salaviis Minies; 26, 
Min. Rufries Ov. 1. ; from Capua (Indog. Forsch. iv, p. 259), Mi. 
Blossii ML; CIL. i, 1230, M-MAGI-MIN-F-SVRVS, Apulia; Rhein. 
Mus. xliii, p. 128, Mi. Anniief(s). 

Minatius or Minatus. Veil. Pater, ii, 16, Minatius Magius, of 
Apulia. In Oscan the name has the form Minatus (cf. the change 
of Oscan Mara to Marius in Latin). Zvet. 112, Miniefs Kafsilliefs 
Minatefs; Rhein. Mus. xlv, p. 162, Mina. Naseni ; Indg. Forsch. ii, 
p. 437, ii, 1. 7, Minaz = Minats < Minatus. 

Opius. Zvet. 128, Oppiis Helleviis ; CIL. i, 146, Opi. Sanfius. 

Epius. CIL. i, 1249, Ep. Popidius, Pompeii ; 193, Epius Fulvius. 

Mamercus was an Oscan praenomen according to the statement of 
Paul, ex Fest. p. 131 : Mamercus praenomen Oscum est ab eo quod 
hi Martem Mamertem dicunt. It passed into Latin as a cognomen ; 
cf. CIL. ii, 1475, et al. The only case where it seems to be a prae- 
nomen is Fast. Cons. Cap. a. U. c. 349, M' Aimilius Mam. f. M. n. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 141 

Mamercinus. In Livy, iv, 16, the name appears as Mam. Aemilius, 
but in Diod. xi, 65, as Acvkios AZ/luAxos Ma/atp/cos. 

Besides these there is a considerable number of other Oscan prae- 
nomina which no one has even suspected of being Roman, and which 
never occur in Latin inscriptions. These may nearly all be found 
in the index to Zvetaieff, Inscript. Ital. Infer. 

The Umbro-Sabellian states of the north shore of Italy contributed 
a few to our list of sixty-four. The most certain examples are these : 

Salvius. This praenomen is clearly non-Latin. I have preferred 
to class it as Umbrian rather than Oscan for several reasons : the 
majority of inscriptions containing it are found in Umbrian territory; 
it is not found as a praenomen in the Oscan inscriptions, and the 
corresponding gentile, Salvius, occurs comparatively rarely in Oscan 
territory (CIL. x, thirteen times); forms of the adjective salvus, from 
which it is probably derived, are very common in the Umbrian tablets. 

CIL. i, 1 41 4. Sal. Egnatius. Umbria. 

" 1420. Sal. Camurius. Picenum. 

" 1280. Sa. Septimius. Paeligni. 

" 1286. Sal. Cominius. " 

" 183. Sa. Magius. Marsi. 

" 184. Sa. Flavius. " 

" 1 141. Sal. Statius. Praeneste. 

Plautus. ClZ.i, 116, Pla. Magolnius, Latium ; 191, PI. Specius 
(unknown.) 

The statement of Paulus is of value in locating Plautus: Fest. 
p. 238, Umbri pedibus planis . . ; Paul, ex Fest. p. 239, Ploti appel- 
lantur qui sunt planis pedibus. Unde et poeta Accius, quia Umber 
Sarsinas erat, a pedum planitie initio Plotus postea Plautus est dic- 
tus. The poet's name, as Ritschl has finally restored it, appears as 
T. Maccius Plautus ; but when we consider that the Italian peoples 
outside of Rome did not, according to the evidence of our inscrip- 
tions, regularly possess cognomina, and that Plautus, or what appears 
to be such, does actually occur as an Italian but not as a Roman 
praenomen, it is not too rash to assume that the poet's original name 
was Plautus Maccius, and that upon his coming to Rome he changed 



142 George Davis Chase. 

the unfamiliar praenomen Plautus to a cognomen. For a very simi- 
lar instance, see Statins, p. 137; only in the case of Caecilius we are 
not told that he assumed a praenomen, as Plautus would seem to 
have done. We do not, however, know of anything to prevent a 
foreigner from taking an assumed name at Rome if he chose. In 
selecting Titus as a praenomen Plautus chose a name that was 
familiar both in his native country and at Rome. 

Pupius. CIL. i, 1423. Pup. Clodius. Picenum. 

Nero. CIL. i, 1412, Ner. Capidas ; 1415, Ner. Egnatius ; 1417, 
Ner. Poinisius; Buecheler, Umbrica, p. 172, Ner. T. Babr. ; Vois. 
Ner. Propartie, all from Umbria. Suet. Claud. 1, Patrem Claudi 
Caesaris, Drusum, olim Decimum mox Neronem praenomine .... 
Suet. Tib. 1, Gens Claudia orta est ex Regillis, oppido Sabinorum 
.... inter cognomina autem et Neronis assumpsit, quo significatur 
lingua Sabina fortis ac strenuus. Gell. xiii, 23, Id autem, sive 
' Nerio ' sive ' Nerienes ' est, Sabinum verbum est, eoque significatur 
virtus et fortitudo. Itaque ex Claudiis, quos a Sabinis oriundos 
accepimus, quis erat egregia atque praestanti fortitudine ' Nero ' 
appellatus est. We are not surprised to find that the Sabines and 
Umbrians used the praenomen Nero in common, as their territories 
were adjacent and their dialects closely allied. The fact that the 
name when brought to Rome ceased to be employed as a praenomen, 
but was adopted among the cognomina, lends support to our Plautus 
theory and may throw light on a similar transference of other names; 
cf. the case of Statius Caecilius cited above (Gell. iv, 20, 12). Nero 
is certainly connected with the Umbrian nerf i nobles'; Skt. nara or 
nr ; Gk. dvrjp. 

Sertor. CIL. i, 1097, Vib. Vedius Sert. f . ; 1412, T. Mimesius 
Sert. f. Incert. Auct. 4 counts Sertor in his collection of prae- 
nomina, and explains it thus: Sertor qui per sationem natus erat 
appellatus est, — an extremely unsatisfactory sentence for those to 
reflect upon who are inclined to accept the position taken by the 
Incert. Auct., that praenomina arose from circumstances of birth. 
Fest. p. 340, Sertorem quidam putant dictum a prendendo, quia cum 
cuipiam adserat manum, educendi eius gratia ex servitute in liberta- 
tem, vocetur adsertor ; cum verisimilius sit dictum qui sereret quid, 
ac potius adsertorem a serendo cepisse nomen, cum aliquem serat 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 143 

petendo in libertatem eandem qua ipse sit, id est iungat, quia fruges 
cum seruntur, terrae iungit. Quod totum Verrius am6dvu>s introduxit. 
Sertor once established as an Umbrian praenomen directs us to that 
dialect for a derivation, and a very satisfactory one is at once sug- 
gested by the verb * serlum (=servare). Sertor, then, standing for 
*seritor by a formation similar to that of habitum from habere, would 
mean servator ' the preserver.' Compare with this such names from 
other dialects z&Numitor 'the arranger,' Tutor Cloilius, Fertor Resius 
(Incert. Auct. 1, Kempf, 1854, ab Aequiculis Sertorem Resium qui 
ius fetiale constituit ; in his new edition, however, Kempf follows 
the MS. and reads Fertorem). We notice at once that such names as 
Salvius, Nero, Sertor, etc., are quite distinct in character of meaning 
from our classes of Roman cognomina. In establishing those 
classes we were obliged to point to Nero as a possible exception to 
the system. By assigning to it an Umbrian origin we find at once 
confirmation of our suspicion and support for our classification of 
cognomina. 

Pet., Petr. CIL. i, 1287, from Paeligni, reads L. Ofdius L. f. Pet. n. 
We have no means of interpreting the praenomen Pet. In a similar 
case, Zvet. 3, Petr., Deecke has guessed Petrus. 

A small number of names, unquestionably cognomina, occur 
rarely and in late inscriptions in the position of praenomen. Among 
these may be mentioned Caesar (Incert. Auct. 3, quae olim prae- 
nomina fuerunt nunc cognomina sunt, ut . . . . Caesar ; cf. Kempf, 
1854, p. 744, note), Cossus, Taurus, Cordus, Geminus, Denter. Gel- 
lius also is found in the position of praenomen in CIL. iii, 606 and 
871, but no one, I think, would urge that it represented more than 
the imperial confusion of names. 

The Roman historians and early records supply us with about a 
dozen names used as praenomina which do not appear in use in his- 
torical times. These are partly from the legendary history of Rome 
and often appear in the name of only a single individual. From the 
time of Varro down they have occasioned much speculation and dis- 
cussion among antiquarians and etymologists, — perhaps more than 
their importance warrants. They are as follows : 

lulus, the fabled son of Aeneas, who was the legendary founder of 
the gens lulia. Livy (i, 3) hints that his name was lulus Ascanius. 



144 George Davis Chase. 

lulus appears as a cognomen in Diod. xi, 65, Acvklos 'IovAios "IovXos. 
The name is very obscure, but may be, as Lindsay suggests, derived 
from lovis. A * lovilus became * Ioilus, which in turn changed to 
lulus; cf. the Oscan iovilo. Diminutives in -/us are common as 
cognomina and are also frequent in our provisional list of praenom- 
ina ; as Aulus < * Avolus, Proculus, Tullus, Paulus, cf . Gk. iraTs < 
*ira/:-iS-s. We can hardly imagine lovis entering into a personal name 
except as one member of a compound. A * lovi-carus, or similar 
compound, became simplified to a single member, which then took 
the diminutive ending -/us; as U/fi/as, ©paVvAAos, Celt. ToutU/us, 
Slav. Dobri/o. 

Ancus, found only in the name Ancus Martius. Paul, ex Fest. 19, 
Ancus appellator qui aduncum bracchium habet et exporrigi non 
potest. Incert. Auct. 4, Ancum praenomen Varro e Sabinis trans- 
latum putat. Valerius Antias scribit quod cubitum vitiosum 
habuerit qui Graeci vocatur ayntov. Ancus appears to be the noun 
from which the diminutives ancu/us 'servant,' ancilla 'maid' are de- 
rived. Ancus Martius has therefore been interpreted as the ' servant 
of Mars.' The derived gentile Ancilius is found in CIL. i, 1144. 

Numa, found only in the names of Nutna Pompilius and JVuma 
Marcius (Liv. i, 20, 5). In the Greek historians Numa appears as 
No/u,as; cf. Dion. Hal. ii, 59-76. The gentile Pompilius joints to a 
non-Latin origin, and the family undoubtedly belongs to the many 
which migrated in the earliest times to Rome and left their traces in 
their family names and even in words in the Latin language which 
can only be explained as borrowings from a non-Latin dialect, as 
bos, popina, etc. Tradition also, according to which Numa Pompilius 
came from the Sabines, supports this view. Serv. ad Aen. vi, 808, 
orta est bona Pompilii fama quod esset apud Cures, civitatem 
Sabinorum. Unde etiam Numa dictus est cb-o ra>v v6/xo>v. In gen- 
eral, the statements of the ancients with regard to the origin of fam- 
ilies are fairly reliable, their etymologies of names too often in 
evidence against them. Still it seems most likely that Numa, 
together with Numitor and Numerius, is derived from the root which 
appears in vo/tos, vi^ta, numerus, etc., meaning ' arrange,' ' order.' 

Hostus. Liv. i, 12, Hostus Hostilius fought on the side of the 
Romans against the Sabines ; he was grandfather of the king, Tullus 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 145 

Hostilius, iv, 30. Hostus Lucretius Tricipitinus was consul in 327 
a. U. c, as also appears from the Fasti Consulares. Incert. Auct. 4, 
Hostus praenomen fuit in eo qui peregre apud hospitem natus erat, 
idque habuit Lucretius Tricipitinus, collega L. Sergii. It is hard to 
believe that Hostus stands directly for kostis, which was and remained 
an -i stem ; cf. Goth, gasts, OS1. gosti. That it may represent the 
abbreviated form of some old Gompound of hostis meaning ' stranger ' 
(Cic. de Off. i, 12, 37) is highly probable. Cf. Gast-, a very common 
member of OHG. and OS1. compound personal names, as in OHG. 
Hadu-gast, Koni-gast, Lindi-gast, Gast-hart; in abbreviated form, 
Gasto, Gastilo; OS1. Gosttrad, dim. Gostilo. (Cf. Fick, die Griech. 
Personennamen, 1874, p. lxvi.) In historical times Hostus survived 
in the gentiles Hostius and Hostilius. 

Proculus is found as a praenomen in Liv. i, 16, Proculus Iulius ; 
ii, 41, Proculus Verginius ; iv, 12, Proculus Geganius Macerinus, 
consuls; in the Fast. Cons, for the years 268, 319, 314; also Diod. 
Sic. xi, 1, and xii, 49, HpoKkov Qvcpymov TpiKocrrov; xii, 36, IIpoK\ov 
T€ydvtov. Incert. Auct 3, quae olim praenomina fuerunt, nunc cog- 
nomina sunt, ut . . . . Proculus. That it was later used as a cogno- 
men appears from Tac. Hist, i, 87, Licinius Proculus. Paul ex Fest. 
p. 225, Proculum inter cognomina eum dicunt qui natus est patre 
peregrinante a patre procul. Proculos sunt qui credant ideo dictos 
quia patribus senibus quasi procul progressis aetate nati sunt. Pro- 
culus is nothing more than the diminutive of procus, a suitor, or per- 
haps with an older meaning of the word, for we learn from Fest. p. 
249, that anciently proci was equivalent to proceres. It appears, 
therefore, to belong to the class of words used as cognomina. It is 
the basis of the gentile Procilius. 

Tullus appears as a praenomen as early as Tullus Hostilius. 
Elsewhere in Livy it is used as a cognomen; cf. iv, 17, Cloelius 
Tullus (Plin. N.H xxxiv, 6, Tulli Cloeli) ; ii, 35, Attius Tullus; 37 
and 38, Tullus. As a praenomen it is also found in Cic. Phil, ix, 2, 
Tullus Cluvius ; CIL. i, n 20, Tul. Tullius Tul. f. (Tibur) ; also as 
the basis of a gentile as early as Servius Tullius, and in historical 
times M. Tullius Cicero, etc. Incert. Auct. 4, Tullus praenominatus 
est ominis gratia quasi tollendus, o littera in u conversa. The word 
seems to show the diminutive suffix -lo. Whether the first part 



146 George Davis Chase. 

stands for tul (cf. tuli, tetuli, etc.), as is generally received (Vanicek, 
p. 296) or whether the first / comes by assimilation from some 
other consonant it is difficult to say. In the latter case we might 
think of Tudulus (cf. Tudicius, Tuccius) > *Ttidlus > Tul/us, or 
perhaps * Tutu/us (Osc. tovto ' people ') > * Tutlus > Tuttus, an 
abbreviated compound name (cf. Celt. Toutillus, etc.). Such assimi- 
lations are hard for classical Latin, but might have taken place more 
easily in the earlier or plebeian speech. On the whole, Tullus 
' little supporter ' is the safest etymology. Whether that, however, 
is to be considered as an original cognomen or the shortened 
form of some compound, as opitulus 'help bringer,' is again a 
question which we are not able to decide. 

Vopiscus. Liv. ii, 54, 3, Vopiscus Iulius ; Fast. Cons. a. U. c. 281, 
346, 353, 361. Incert. Auct. 4, Vopiscus, qui in utero matris gemi- 
nus conceptus, altero abortu iecto, incolumis editus erat. Plin. N. H. 
vii, 10, Vopiscum appellabant e geminis qui retenti utero nascerentur 
altero interempto abortu. Namque maxima etsi rara circa hoc mira- 
cula existunt. Non. 557, Vopiscus qui ex duobus conceptis uno 
abortu excluso ad partum legitumum deducitur. Sol. i, 69, E gemi- 
nis si remanente altero, alter abortivo fluxu exciderit, alter qui legi- 
tume natus est Vopiscus nominatur ; cf. Isid. Orig. 9, 5. The 
agreement of these various late writers means, I think, nothing more 
than a common source of information. It does not seem physiologi- 
cally probable that such births occurred frequently enough to give 
rise to a special personal name to describe them. It is hardly pos- 
sible, for example, that several consuls should have been so born or 
that the name could become extended in use so long as its meaning 
was borne in mind. If, however, the meaning of the nanie was, as 
early as 350 a. U. c, already forgotten, we wonder how it survived 
till the time of Pliny. We are inclined from the, length of the word 
to consider it a cognomen in origin occasionally used as praenomen 
(cf. chap, vii) rather than the abbreviated form of a compound 
name which would rarely contain three syllables. 

Agrippa appears as a praenomen in the name Agrippa Menenius 
(Liv. ii, 16; iv, 11, 13; Diod. xiii, 7), in Agrippa Menenius Lana- 
tus (Liv. iv, 44, 47), in Agrippa Furius (Liv. v, 32 ; ii, 66: Diod. 
xii, 30), and is also found in the Fast. Cons, of a. U. c. 251, 312, 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 147 

302, 315, 335, 337, 308, 363. The earliest record of the name is in 
the case of Agrippa Silvius, one of the early Alban kings (Incert. 
Auct. 1), who appears in Livy (i, 3) as Agrippa simply. That 
Agrippa was later used as a cognomen is shown by the name M. 
Vipsanius Agrippa, of the time of Augustus. It also appears as a 
cognomen in the gentes Asinia, Fonteia, Hateria, lulia, and Vibulana. 
Incert. Auct. 3 also classes it among the, names ' quae olim praeno- 
mina fuerunt, nunc cognomina sunt.' On the meaning of the word, 
Non. 557, says, ' Agrippae qui cum labore matris eduntur, hoc est 
per pedes contra naturam, non per caput, quasi ab aegro partu.' A 
wilder etymology would be hard to seek. This explanation is evi- 
dently copied from Plin. N. H. vii, 6, 1, in pedes procidere nascen- 
tem contra naturam est, quo argumento eos appellavere Agrippas ut 
aegre partos ; qualiter et M. Agrippam ferunt genitum, unico prope 
f elicitatis exemplo in omnibus ad hunc modum genitis ; cf . also Gell. 
xvi, 16 ; Sol. i, 65 ; Serv. ad Aen. viii, 682. Agrippa is probably a 
Greek name, compounded of dypds and tmros. It does not occur in 
Greek sources, but Fick 2 , Griech. Personennamen, p. 45, cites the 
similar names 'Aypo-Aecov, 'Ayp-oirai ; p. 7, 'Aypd-A.as and Ae- 
aypos. The form in Greek would be'Ayp-fn-n-os and it is necessary 
to suppose that the Italians who borrowed the name changed it to 
an -a stem, on the analogy of some of their own names, as Osc. 
Maras, Tanas, Lat. Catilina, Seneca, etc. It is likely that the name 
found its way to Rome from some of the Greek colonies of Magna 
Graecia or Sicily through some early emigrant, and, although at first 
used indifferently as praenomen or cognomen, finally settled into its 
proper place as cognomen. 

Volero, Volesus, Volusus, and Valesus are apparently dialectic 
variations of the same name. Volero occurs, Liv. v, 13, ii, 55, in 
Voleronem Publilium. Later the same man is repeatedly spoken of 
as Volero alone, as if the name was considered a cognomen rather 
than a praenomen. In Diod. xiv, 54, he appears as OiaXipios HoirXC- 
Aiog; cf. also Fast. Cons. a. U. c. 354, 355. Volesus appears in Liv. 
i, 58, P. Valerius Volesi f.; in Dion. Hal. ii, 46, OidAeo-og (Jacoby, 
OidAoo-cros) OiaXeptos ; and in Fast. Cons. a. U. c. 294, 298, 339, 
350. This Volesus, we are told by Dion. Hal. I.e., was a powerful 
Sabine who came to Rome with Titus Tatius (see also Incert. Auct. 



148 George Davis Chase. 

1) and became the founder of the gens Valeria; cf. Ovid, ex Pont. 
iii, 2, 105, quos Volesus patrii cognoscat nominis auctor; Sil. Ital. 
ii, 8, Poplicola ingentis Volusi Spartana propago; Juv. Sat. viii, 182, 
et quae turpia cerdoni, Volesos Brutumque decebunt. CIL. i, 187, 
Va. Condetius is probably to be rendered Valesus. The form Valesus 
is also preserved in Valerius, beside which we have the gens Volusia. 
As to the origin of the name, the Incert. Auct. 4 says, 'Volero in 
praenomen abiit quod volentibus nasci liberi parentibus videbantur.' 
It is most likely that the name is derived from the root of volo, and 
may well be part of a compound name. We may suppose a neuter 
-es stem noun, *vefces 'desire,' developing an a or vowel by the 
influence of the /; cf. Lindsay, Lat. Lang. § 92. The Latin divini- 
ties Vol-u-mnus, -a, 'the well wishing one,' furnish a good parallel 
for the use of sj vol. Compare, for the compound, such names as 
Greek Eu-/?ou\os; Germanic, Wili-frid, Wili-muot, Wilt-rat, and 
many others. 

Opiter. Liv. ii, 17 and 54, Opiter Verginius; Fast. Cons. Cap. 
a. U. c. 352, [L. Vi]rginius L. f. Opetr. n. Tricost. Esquilin. CIL. i, 
146, On • SAVFIO • I • I, from old Latium, has been generally inter- 
preted as Opiter, although I am inclined to take it rather as the 
Oscan praenomen Opius; cf. Zvet. 128, Oppiis Helleviis, and 
examples of Opius as an Oscan gentile, Zvet. p. 136. Dion. Hal. v, 
49, 'Omrtop Ovepytvios ; Diod. xii, 73, 'Owirepos AovKpTJTws ; Zonar. 
vii, 13, 'OiriT<opios Ovepymos. A derived gentile appears in Liv. 
xxxix, 1 7, in the Faliscan name L. Opiternium. For the meaning 
of the word we have some interesting etymologies from classical 
sources, as follows : Paul, ex Fest. p. 184, cuius pater avo vivo mor- 
tuus est, ducto vocabulo aut quod obitu patris genitus sit, aut quod 
avum ob patrem habeat, id est pro patre; Incert. Auct. 3, Opiter 
vocabatur qui patre mortuo, avo vivo gignebatur; Quint, i, 4, 25, 
et ex casu nascentium ; hie Agrippa et Opiter et Cordus et Postumus 
erunt. Following these authorities, modern scholars are accustomed 
to explain the word as a compound of avus and pater, and to cite as 
parallels Diespiter, luppiter, Marspiter. So Stolz and Schmalz, in 
I. v. Muller's Handbuch*, ii, p. 272 : 'Im Schriftlatein haben wir 
o(u)=au in opiter = *av(i)-piter'; Zimmermann, Neue Jahrbticher, 
1896, pp. 419-20 : 'Opiter das ich fur einen vocativ und zwar aus 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 149 

av(e) pater entstanden ansehe (avpiter, aupiter, dpiter). das kind 
wollte, wie bei uns den grosspapa bzw. o-papa vom papa, so den 
avus pater vom pater unterscheiden. die vocativform, weil vom 
kinde bzw. dem kinde gegenuber haiifiger angewandt, wurde die 
herschende, wie in Ju-piter, Juppiter, vgl. Z«i) iraTcp, Brugm. Grund- 
riss, i, s. 464. der iibergang von Aupiter zu Opiter lasst sich eben 
aus der f amiliaren sprache leicht erklaren ; vgl. Olus neben Aulus.' 
Other recent views are presented in Stolz, Hist. Lat. Gram, i, p. 211, 
none of which meet with the present writer's approval. We have 
first to notice that *Avipiter ' possessing a grandfather as father ' is 
not to be classed as a compound with luppiter 'father Zeus,' and 
that it would be a difficult compound in Latin, which restricted itself 
to compounds of the simplest and most transparent signification. 
Secondly, by all analogies arising from au is long; but uniformly 
Opiter is written with o in Greek and appears with short in Sil. 
Ital. x, 33, sternuntur leto atque Opiter quos Setia colle. These 
considerations seem to me fatal for the explanation of Opiter as 
meaning ' one who has a grandfather in the stead of a father.' Nor 
do I believe that pater appears in the word; rather is it to be 
derived from the root op 'help,' as it appears in the names of the 
divinities Ops and Copia (= co-op-ia), and in the gentiles Op-lmius 
and Op-isius. The -i- is a developed connecting vowel. For the 
•t-, cf. op-tare, op-tumus; for older opitumus (cf. CIL. i, 1016, 
opitumd). A feminine name of similar formation occurs, CIL. viii, 
476, in Caecilia Opita. The -er is more obscure; it may be com- 
pared with the ending in the cognomen Dent-er, and in the noun 
accipiter < *acu-pet-er ' the swift-flyer,' — a comparison which is 
favored by the similarity of their declension ; cf. Priscian, 6, p. 229, 
Keil, inveniuntur tamen apud vetustissimas haec ancipitis genitivi : 
"hie accipiter, huius accipiteris," et " accipitris," "Opiter Opiteris" 
et " Opitris." Opiter, therefore, means ' the helper,' and is very 
similar in kind to such names as Sertor 'the preserver,' Numitor 
' the arranger,' Fertor ' the supporter,' etc. 

Kaeso lingered longer in use as a praenomen and was the only 
one of the early class that had a generally recognized abbreviation, 
namely K. Examples of its use in the gens Quinctia are common 
in Livy and the Fasti. In inscriptions it appears in K. Fabricius, 



150 George Davis Chase. 

CIL. i, 107, an early inscription of Latium. On the meaning of the 
word Paul, ex Fest. p. 57 says : Caesones appellabantur ex utero matris 
exsecti. Plin. N. H. vii, 9, . . . sicut Scipio Africanus prior natus 
primusque Caesarum a caeso matris utero dictus, qua de causa et 
Caesones appellati ; cf. Isid. Orig. ix, 3, 12. Marquardt, Rom. 
Alterthumer, iii, p. 441, and Mommsen, Rom. Forsch. p. 17, under- 
stand Kaeso of the lashing (caedere) which the Luperci did. But it 
seems preferable to take Kaeso as an -0, -onis adjective connected 
with caesius, and referring to the color of the eyes or complexion; cf. 
Vanicek, Etym. Worterbuch, p. 1002, especially the names Caesonius, 
Caesulla (= * Caeson-la), and Paul, ex Fest. p. 136, caesullae a 
caesiis oculis. Kaeso will then be in origin a cognomen pure and 
simple. 

With Kaeso our list of these obsolete praenomina is concluded. 
We have found that these, if they survived till historical times, were 
used only as cognomina, and that in origin they belonged mostly to 
those classes of names into which the Roman cognomina fall. Only 
three — Hostus, lulus, and Volero — can with any degree of proba- 
bility be looked upon as survivals of original Indo-European names. 
And yet we will admit, for the evidence points in that direction, that, 
in the period for which they are recorded, all these names were alike 
considered and employed as genuine praenomina. 

We have next to consider a class of names which certainly arose 
as cognomina and were so used in classical times, but also occur 
with more or less frequency as praenomina. 

Faustus is found oftenest as a cognomen, but occasionally as a 
praenomen ; cf. Val. Max., Kempf. 1854, p. 745. The Incert. Auct. 
derives Faustus as a praenomen from favor. 

Faullus occurs CIL. i, 473, Paullus Lepidus ; 799, Paul. Fabius; 
and occasionally in literature. 

Fostumus. CIL. i, 79, Post. Antestius ; 1089, Postumus Sulpicius ; 
1412, Post. Mimesius ; and a number of times in literature. The 
Incert. Auct. classes it among the praenomina that became cogno- 
mina. 

More important are the numerals. These all, from Frimus to Deci- 
mus, are used as cognomina. The first four — Frimus, Secundus, 
Tertius, Quartus — never appear as praenomina until after republican 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 151 

times. Septimus appears as praenomen, Liv. xxv, 37, L. Marcius 
Septimi Alius, and xxviii, 28, 13, Septimum Marcium, but xxxii, 2, 5, 
L. Marcio Septimo. In other authors he is merely L. Marcius. 
The gentiles, also, from the numerals, as Sextius, Septimius, Octavius, 
Nonius, Quinctius, etc., are of very frequent occurrence. Only three 
of the numerals were regularly and frequently used as praenomina 
at all periods, namely, Quintus, Sextus, and Decitnus, abbreviated as 
Q., Sex., and D. In CIL. i, occur as such Quintus, 241 times, 
Sextus, 57 times, Decitnus, 22 times. But although we find so 
marked differences in the use of the numerals as names, it is impos- 
sible to believe that this use did not arise in the same way for all ; 
that is, that they were at first used to distinguish children by the 
order of birth. But when we find them as praenomina in historical 
times it is evident that they no longer referred to order of birth. A 
very clear proof of this is seen from the gens Iunia (Drumann, iv, 1), 
which was represented in the consulship in three successive genera- 
tions, B. C. 325, 292, and 264 by a D. Junius Brutus, and again by 
two consuls of the same name in 138, and 77, the latter of whom 
had a son D. Junius Brutus. In all, there were eight consuls 
named D. Junius Brutus. That these were all tenth sons is out of 
the question. 

The praenomina which remain to be considered are those which 
were commonly used and accepted as such throughout the classical 
period of Roman literature and which are almost universally abbre- 
viated in Roman inscriptions. Of these, if we may believe a very 
probable tradition, a small number came to Rome with early immi- 
grants from other parts of Italy, but at a period so remote that in his- 
torical times they were regarded as genuine Roman names and had 
already acquired a considerable diffusion among the Roman people. 

Appius, the most restricted of these, is found as a praenomen in 
the Claudian gens as early as a. U. c. 259, when Appius Claudius 
Sabinus was consul, and later in other gentes, as Annia, Modia, Popi- 
dia, and Iunia. The name Appius is reported to have been brought 
to Rome from the country of the Sabines. Liv. ii, 16, namque 
Attus Clausus, cui postea Ap. Claudio fuit Romae nomen . . . . ab 
Regillo magna clientium comitatus manu Romam transfugit. iv, 3, 
Claudiam certe gentem post reges exactos ex Sabinis non in civitatem 



152 George Davis Chase. 

modo accepimus, sed etiam in patriciorum numerum ? Suet. Tib. 1, 
Patricia gens Claudia orta est ex Regillis, oppido Sabinorum. Inde 
Romam recens conditam cum magna clientium manu commigravit, 
auctore Tito Tatio, consorte Romuli, vel, quod magis constat, Atta 
Claudio, gentis principe. Serv. ad Aen. vii, 706, Clausus, Sabinorum 
rex, post exactos reges, ut quidam dicunt, cum quinque milibus 
clientum et amicorum Romam venit, et susceptus habitandam partem 
urbis accepit : ex quo Claudia et tribus est et familia nominata. Cf. 
also Sil. Ital. xv, 546 ; Tac. Ann. iv, 9 ; Plut. Popl. 21 ; Coriol. 11 ; 
Dion. Hal. v, 40. The use of Appius in the Claudian gens was 
peculiar, in that it seemed to partake of the character of both prae- • 
nomen and gentile. It appears with the force of a gentile in such 
expressions as via Appia, aqua Appia, forum Appii, etc., and in the 
case of several pairs of brothers named Appius Claudius. For a 
fuller treatment of this subject see Mommsen, Horn. Forsch. p. 25. 
A further discussion of the origin of the name Appius would take us 
off of Latin soil, and into a consideration of non- Roman names to an 
extent to which we do not at present care to go. An interesting 
article by Zimmermann on the meaning of Appius may be found in 
the Neue Jahrbucher, 1896, p. 420. 

Titus, in much the same way, but attaining a somewhat wider ex- 
tension of use at Rome, came from the Sabines. . Incert. Auct. 6, 
Titus a Sabino nomine Tito * fluxit, Appius ab Atto, eiusdem regionis 
praenomine. Titus Tatius, according to all traditions, was the king 
of the Sabines who first made terms with the Romans (Liv. i, 10). 
Whatever view we may hold of the story, we must attach weight to 
that part of the tradition which declares Titus to be a Sabine name. 
This view is further borne out by the fact that Titus occurs very fre- 
quently as a praenomen in the Latin inscriptions from Umbria and 
the Paeligni, and also in the Umbrian inscriptions (Buecheler, 
Umbrica, p. 172) in names which are certainly native to that region. 
Titus is regularly abbreviated by T., except CIL. i, 1292, where we 
find Tit. Of all names of foreign origin Titus gained the widest cir- 
culation at Rome, a fact undoubtedly due to its early introduction 
and the distinction of those who first bore it. Cf. Zimmermann, 
Neue Jahrbucher, 1896, p. 420, for a discussion of the meaning of 
the word. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 153 

Ten of our provisional list of sixty-four praenomina yet remain. 
Four of these — Gnaeus, Aulus, Tiberius, and Spurius — have the 
appearance of having first arisen as early cognomina. 

Gnaeus (Gnaivos') is an older form of the common noun naevus 
' birthmark.' So Paulus ex Fest, p. 96, Gneus et corporis insigne et 
praenomen a generando dicta esse, et ea ipsa ex Graeco ytyvcaOai 
apparet. On the various spellings of the word, cf. Incert. Auct. 5, 
Gnaevus ab insigne naevi appellatus est : quod unum praenomen 
varia scriptura notatur : alii enim Naevum [cf. gens Naevia], alii 
Gnaeum, alii Cnaeum scribunt. Qui G littera in hoc praenomine 
utuntur antiquitatem sequi videntur, quae multum ea littera usa 
est. Olim enim dicebatur frugmentum, nunc frumentum, et forgtis, 
non fortis, et gnatura, non natura : ergo etiam qui in corporibus gigni 
solet gnaeus appellabatur. 

Spurius is sufficiently explained as the Latin adjective (=v66o$, 
cf. Ndtfwv, Herod, vi, 100), in the sense of 'born out of legal wed- 
lock.' Fest. p. 174, nothum Graeci natum ex uxore non legitima 
vocant, qui apud nos spurio patre natus dicitur, quod Ser. Tullius 
qui Romae regnavit natus est ex concubina Spurius *Tulli tributis, 
etc. Such an explanation, so near to seek, and so much in keeping 
with the Roman custom of naming, is much to be preferred to a more 
distant one, as, for example, Deecke's attempt to derive Spurius from 
the Etruscan spure (Deecke, Etrusk. Forsch. u. Studien, ii, p. 43). 

Aulus. The explanation of the Incert. Auct., ' Auli qui diis alen- 
tibus nati sunt,' cannot possibly be correct, as alo is built on the 
simple root al, and could not by any law produce an aul-. Neither 
are we in favor of deriving it from the Etruscan avile, with Deecke, 
Etrusk. Forsch. u. Studien, v, p. 139. Two choices remain, — to derive 
the name from olla (cf. Paul, ex Fest. 20, aulas antiqui dicebant quas 
nos dicimus ollas, quianullam litteram geminabant), making it in some 
way to refer to the personal appearance (cf. English ' Tubby ' ), in 
which case we should expect the name to be Aula ; or preferably to 
explain it as standing for avulus ' little grandfather ' (cf. English 
'uncle,' French 'pere'). Since I reached this conclusion, there 
has appeared an article by Zimmermann, Neue Jahrbiicher, 1896, p. 
419, presenting the same view. We find a derivative of Aulus in the 
gentile Avilius. Avitus is used as a cognomen. 



154 George Davis Chase. 

Tiberius can only be considered in connection with the related 
place-names, Tiberis, the river, Tifernum, a town of Umbria, and 
Tifernus, a mountain and stream in Samnium. Perhaps also the 
town Tlbur is related. The cognomen Tibullus seems to stand for 
*Tiber-lus. Paul, ex Fest, p. 366, derives the river from a personal 
name : Tiberis fluvius dictus a Tiberino, rege Albanorum, quod in 
eo cecidisset. Tibris a Tibri, rege Tuscorum. This is not so 
probable as that the personal name was derived from that of the 
place. So the Incert. Auct. 6, Tiberii vocitari coeperunt qui ad 
Tiberim nascebantur. More probably the meaning was 'one who 
lives near the Tiber.' That personal names were early derived 
from place-names is shown by the cognomina in the first book of 
Livy which refer to localities, as Coriolanus, Capitolinus, etc. 

The six praenomina that remain to be considered — Servius, 
Manius, Publius, Lucius, Gaius, and Marcus — differ radically from 
those of the cognomen class ; they are not simple words out of the 
language, but are formed with derivative suffixes, — the first five 
with -to-, Marcus with -co-. Again, we shall see, when we look more 
closely at their meanings, that, they are formed from words which do 
not criticise individual peculiarities, which are never derogatory or 
familiar, as is the case with the cognomina. On the contrary, they 
express either praise or a wish or hope for moral or physical dis- 
tinction that might be intended as an omen for future greatness in 
the career of the man. In short, they are exactly the kind of names 
that, as was pointed out in a previous chapter, were employed in 
the original Indo-European system ; only in every case they appear 
in the abbreviated form, showing only one member of an earlier 
compound, with some derivative ending attached. Owing to their 
extreme antiquity, their origin was entirely obscured in historical 
times, and they were no longer distinguished from the other names 
in use. Hence we are not surprised to find the Latin antiquarians 
widely erring as to their derivation and meaning. 

Servius is to be derived from a root ser ' bind ' ; hence, as seems 
to be its force in names, 'to collect carefully,' 'to preserve.' The same 
root is seen in the Umbrian name Ser-tor and in the verb seritu ' pre- 
serve.' In Latin the root, when used in the sense of 'preserve,' 
seems always to have taken a -uo suffix. Thus we have ser-vo-s, 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 155 

which means doubtless the keeper, preserver of the owner's goods. 
From servus comes the denominative ser-va-re, to preserve, and 
later, from servus in its classical sense, ser-vl-re, to serve. Servius, 
then, stands for a compound having servus as one member, for a 

Servo- -\- , or + servus; a 'preserver of heroes (?) ' or 

'country,' etc., or 'God (?) protected,' as in Greek 'AAc'l-avSpos. 
After servus had come to acquire the odious connotation of ' slave,' 
it is easy to see how the praenomen Servius, which was plainly in 
some way connected with it, fell into disuse, and we are not surprised 
to find it comparatively rare in classical times. Having thus dis- 
posed of Servius, it is only of passing interest to note the opinions 
of the ancients. Incert. Auct. 6, Servius quod mortua matre in 
utero servatus est. Dion. Hal. iv, 1, expresses a different view : 
to o« koivov Kal irpoo-rjyoptKov, 'Stpoviov, im tiJs iSt'as rv^rp, on SouAevovo-a 
erCKev avrov. at/ 8 av 6 Sepovtos, as ttjv 'EAAjjnK^v SioXcktov ;u,£Ta/?i/t?a£o- 
fievos, AovAxos. And this view seems to be hinted at by Fest. p. 174, 
in speaking (like Dionysius, I.e.) of Servius Tullius in the very 
corrupt lines, Ocilisiam corniculam captivam eum susceptum matre 
servientem. 

Manius. Varro, L. L. ix, 60, forsitan ab eo qui mane natus diceretur, 
ut is Manius esset. Paul, ex Fest. p. 1 48, Manius praenomen dictum 
est ab eo quod mane quis initio natus sit. Incert. Auct. 5, Manii qui 
mane editi erant, vel ominis causa quasi boni. Manum enim an- 
tiqui bonum dicebant. The existence of the old adjective manus, 
meaning 'good,' is well attested. So in Fest. p. 146, manuos in 
carminibus Saliaribus Aelius Stilo significare ait bonos : et Inferi di 
Manes pro boni dicuntur a suppliciter eos venerantibus, propter 
metum mortis, ut immanes quoque pro valde .... dicuntur. Serv. 
Aen. i, 139, Immania aspera : manum enim antiqui bonum dicebant, 
sicut supra dictum est, unde et mane dicitur ; quid enim melius ? 
et per antiphrasin ' manes ' Inferi, quia non sint boni. The word 
was also preserved in the names of Latin divinities, as Cerus manus 
' the good Creator,' Mana the goddess of death and birth, Maniae 
(cf. Fest. p. 145 ; Macrob. Sat. i, 7, 34), and Summanus, the old Latin 
divinity of nocturnal lightning, Varro, L. L. v, 74. It is much the 
most likely that Manius represents a compound of this old adjective 
manus, and not a formation from manus in the unattested derived 



156 George Davis Chase. 

meaning of 'early in the morning.' We have only to point to the 
fact that various words meaning ' good ' are among the very com- 
monest in the original compound names, and our position seems 
quite unassailable. Compare such names as 'Ayaflo-xAiJs, 'Aya0o- 
Aas, ' Ay a.6 6-8 wp os, etc. But Manius was not very extensively in 
use as a praenomen. Perhaps this was due to the fact that the 
name carried with it an unpleasant, uncanny sensation because of 
its seeming connection with Maniae. This idea is hinted at by Fes- 
tus in the following passage, p. 145 : Manius Eger .... Nemorensem 
Dianae consecravit a quo multi et clari viri orti sunt, et per multos 
annos fuerunt ; unde et proverbium : " Multi Mani Ariciae." Sinnius 
Capita longe aliter sentit; ait enim turpes et deformes significari, 
quia Maniae dicuntur deformes personae, et Ariciae genus panni 
fieri ; quod manici appelletur. 

Publius. Incert. Auct. 5, Publii qui prius pupilli facti erant quam 
praenomina haberent ; alii ominis causa ex pube. Beside populus 
there apparently existed in old Latin a noun *poublus built on the 
root oipubes, and so closely coinciding in meaning with populus that 
it was superseded by it in use. Of the adjectives, however, derived 
from these nouns, publicus survived to the exclusion of poplicus (cf . 
CIL. i, 196, poplicod). Publius therefore is the contracted form of 
a *Publo-carus, or similar name. Cf. I. v. Miiller's Handbuch 2 , ii, p. 
383 ; Lindsay, Lat. Lang. p. 287. The word populus or * pub/us 
(= Greek wkfjOoi) evidently arose on Italic soil as the regular 
designation for ' people.' The earlier word, which appears in Oscan 
as tovto, Goth, yiuda, Celt, tuath, etc., is very frequently used in 
compound personal names, as Celt. Toutio-rix, Germ. Diet-rich (see 
also the suggestion for Tullus, p. 146). In Italic the transition to a 
new term is explained by the expanded phrase in Umbrian, poplom 
totar ^=populum tutae) ; cf. Buecheler, Umbrica, vii, A. 15. 

Lucius. The prevailing idea among the Romans was that Lucius 
meant one born at daylight. Thus Incert. Auct. 5, Lucii coeperunt 
adpellari qui ipso initio lucis orti erant aut, ut quidam arbitrantur, a 
Lucumonibus Etruscis (cf. Dion. Hal. iii, 48). Paul, ex Pest. p. 1 19, 
Lucius praenomen est eius qui primum fuit, qui oriente luce natus 
est ; cf. ibid. p. 148. Varro, L. L. ix, 60, qui mane natus diceretur 
ut is Manius esset, qui luci, Lucius ; ibid, vi, 5, Secundum hoc 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 157 

dicitur Crepusculum a crepero, id vocabulum sumpserunt a Sabinis, 
unde veniunt Crepusci nominati Amiterno qui eo tempore erant 
nati, ut Lucii prima luce. Lucius represents the shortened form 
of a compound of the old adjective * loucus. This adjective had 
ceased to be used as such in Latin in classical times, but survived 
as a noun in loucus ' a cleared grove.' The original meaning was 
' bright,' ' shining.' In Greek we find the exact correspondent in 
XevKos, and in Lettish in /auks (=* loukos~), which has become spe- 
cialized to denote a horse with a white spot in the forehead ; cf. Lat. 
calidus. In classical Latin the name was certainly Lucius. There 
is, however, some evidence that in the older language it had a differ- 
ent form. Thus in the Scipio epitaphs we have, CIL. i, 30, 
Cornelius Lucius Scipio, and in 32, Lucfom Scfpidne, where the 
requirements of Saturnian verse seem to have obliged the poet to 
place the praenomen after the gentile, and to demand a scansion of 
Lucius. So Wordsworth, Fragments of Early Latin, p. 398, explains 
it, and cites as additional proof the modern Italian Lucia. This, 
however, though obscure in origin, can have little weight in the dis- 
cussion ; it is impossible to believe that an early * Lucius survived 
till modern times against the universal classical Lucius. L. Miiller, 
de Re Metrica 2 , p. 286, believes that the early form was Luclvus; but 
this is in part refuted by the Oscan form of the name, Luvikis or 
Luvkis ; cf. Zvet. 128. The meagreness and uncertainty of all this 
evidence, added to the fact that any views we may hold of the 
Saturnian verse are at least debatable, oblige us to regard Lucius as 
the most probable original Latin form. As was common in other 
languages, the shortened form took on also other suffixes : thus 
beside Luc-io-s we have LUc-ullus, used as a cognomen. In force, 
Luco- was probably equivalent to the Germanic berht in such names 
as Al-bert, Bert-hold, etc. Etymologically it may be connected with 
such names as the Skt. Rukma-bahu, Ruci-deva, Vara-ruci, and the 
shortened Ruci, Roci, Rocana, etc.; the Avest. Raocac-caeshman, Vohu- 
raocaiin,'Pu>^d.vr] ; Gk. Acvk-iititos, Aevxos, Aev*<ov, Zd-XevKos ; 
Celt. Lugoto-rlx, Lug-dunum, etc. 

Gaius has certainly lost a medial v, as is shown by the gentile 
form Gavius. With that supplied, the etymology is clear. The root 
gau 'rejoice' is common in both Latin and Greek, as in gau-deo, 



158 George Davis Chase. 

gavtsus (=* gau-id-tus*) ya-i'-w, dyav-os, etc. It also appears in the 
Greek name Taw-fi.^Srj's, and as a name-forming element is highly 
appropriate. The Incert. Auct. 5 saw the correct derivation of the 
word, which he explains of course wrongly : Gaii iudicantur dicti a 
gaudio parentum. Rather the original compound was meant to ex- 
press the wish that the child might come to be the joy of his people, 
of Mars, of women, etc. 

Marcus, the last and most difficult of the praenomina, does not 
mean as the Incert. Auct. 5 explains : Martio mense geniti. The 
same root is evidently represented in Marcus and Mars, but the 
exact relation of these two words is very hard to determine. Marcus 
and also the derivatives Marcius and Marcellus show constantly long 
a. Mommsen, Ephem. Epigraph, i, 286, shows that the Greeks 
regularly wrote Maapicos, and that they regularly used the double 
vowel in no other Latin word. He concludes that the Romans pro- 
nounced Ma(h)arcus, which was contracted to Marcus, and compares 
Ala, for Ahala ; see also ibid, iv, p. 217. In I. v. Miiller's Handbuch, 
ii, p. 281, Maarcus is explained as a case of vowel lengthening 
before the combination r + consonant. For Mars there is hardly 
any evidence to lead us to believe that the vowel was long. In the 
Monument. Ancyr. iv, 21, it occurs with the apex, M ART IS, but in 
three other following places (iv, 25 ; v, 42 ; vi, 31) without any sign 
of length. The reduplicated forms in Sabine and Oscan, Ma-mer(t)s, 
Ma-mer-cus, with vowel weakening in the unaccented syllable, point 
to a short vowel. It seems likely that the root appeared in two 
ablaut grades in Latin, — as mar in mar-mor, Mar-o Mar-ius, 
Mar-(t)s, Ma-mer-(f)s ; and as mar in Mar-cus. It is extremely dif- 
ficult to maintain any connection in form between Mars and the 
poetical form Mavors, even through the medium of the old Latin 
Maurte. Supposing the to have dropped, we have no example of 
au becoming a except in a few cases of late Latin ; cf. I. v. Miiller's 
Handbuch, ii, 272, where an attempt is made to establish the rela- 
tionship, and Corssen 2 , i, 664. Supposing, too, Mars to stand for 
an older Mavors, Mamers would be very difficult of explanation. 
The Oscan praenomen Mamercus(ci. Paul ex F. p. 1 3 1 , and for quantity 
see Juv. viii, 192) probably stands for Mamertus, being corrupted in 
Latin by the analogy of Marcus. We find also the cognomina 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 159 

Mamertus and Mamertullus in use, and in Ovid, lb. 547, Mamerta, 
as a masculine. Least tenable of all is the view of Pauli, Altital. 
Stud, iii, p. 134 : ' Marcus fur Marticus ; das Marti- ist = lat. morti- 
mit alterer Vokalisation.' Marcus appears not to be derived from 
Mars, but to represent an old compound name, one of whose mem- 
bers was Maro-, and to be formed with the diminutive ending -acus ; 
cf. such names as Skt. Deva-ka, Vira-ka, Quna-ka; Gk. °Iirira-Kos, 
Hvppa-Kos, Kvva£, etc. The older Latin form was * Mar-ac-os, 
which by vowel weakening became * Mar-ic-us, then by syncope, which 
occurred especially after a long vowel, Marcus ; cf . optumus < *bpit- 
umus, Caldus <C calidus, valde < valide, etc. The same root mar we 
find of frequent occurrence in names of other languages. Its force is 
' bright,' ' renowned.' In Irish it appears as mdr, mar, as in Glun-mar, 
Teacht-mar ; Cymr. Con-mbr, Cat-mbr ; Celt. Sego-mdrus, Viro-marus, 
Brogi-marus, Elvio-marus. As shortened, forms we find in Celtic 
Maro and Mariccus. We seem also to have the same root, with 
unexplained vowel change, in the Gothic mers, which appears in 
OHG. as mar in such names as Waldo-mar, Wini-mar, Wolf-mar, 
Berht-mar, Fridu-mar ; Mar-oald, Mar-win, Mar-ulf Mar-berht, 
Mar-frid ; and in the shortened forms Maro, Goth. Mirila. In 
Slavic also we find the same member appearing as miru in the 
names Miro-gniew, Miro-dar, Miro-lub, Miro-neha, Miro-slav ; Bole- 
mir, Brani-mir, Vladi-mir, Desi-mer, Rado-mir; and in the abbre- 
viated names Mir, Mirin, Mirlko, Mirota, Miros. The Celtic Maric- 
cus and the Slavic Miriko are therefore the exact equivalents of the 
Latin Marcus. 

VI. Women's Praenomina. 

In the classical literature of Rome women are not designated by 
any praenomen. In republican times the commonest form of 
designation was the gentile name alone, as Caesennia (Cic. pro Caec. 
10), Ampia (Cic. ad Fam. vi, 12, 3), Aquilia (Cic. ad Att. xiv, 13, 5 ; 
I 7> 3)- When this was insufficient to indicate the individual, the 
name of the husband or nearest male relative, or some term of 
relationship was added, as Anniae C. Anni senatoris \_flliae], Cic. 
Verr. i, 153; Auria fratris uxor, Cic. pro Cluent. 31; Caeciliam 
Nepotis filiam, Cic. pro Sex. Rose. 27 ; Cornelia tua [uxor], Cic. ad 



160 George Davis Chase. 

Fam. v, 6, i ; Lucretiae Trkipitini filiae Conlatini uxori, Cic. de Rep. 
ii, 46 ; Porciae meae, Cic. ad Brut, i, 17, 7 ; Postumia Sulpicii [uxor], 
Cic. ad Att. xii, 11. Sometimes an adjective from the place of birth 
was added, as Numitoria Fregellana, Cic. Phil, iii, 17. These women 
seem to have had no other name in either official or familiar use. 
Cicero always calls his daughter Tullia, or when he wishes for a more 
familiar name, he makes a pet diminutive, Tulliola. 

Occasionally we meet with cognomina in the republican period, as 
Aurelia Orestilla, Sail. Cat. 15, 2; Aelia Galla, Prop, iv, 12, 38. 
Oftener such women are mentioned by their cognomina alone, as Ore- 
stilla, Sail. Cat. 35, 36; Cic. ad Fam. viii, 7, 2 (but Aurelia, ix, 22, 4); 
Fausta {Cornelia), Cic. ad Att. v, 8, 2 ; Metella, Cic. post Red. in Sen. 
37 ; ad Att. xi, 23, 3 ; Cana (Gellia), Cic. ad Alt. xiii, 41, 1 ; Tertulla 
{Tertia), Cic. ad Att. xv, 11, 1 ; xiv, 20 (but Tertia, ad Brut, ii, 5, 3; 
6, 2 ; ad Fam. xvi, 22, 1). In speaking of Atticus' daughter, Cicero 
sometimes calls her Caecilia {ad Att. vi, 2, 10; 4, 3), sometimes Attica 
{ad Att. xii, 1,1; xiii, 15, 17 ; 21, 7 ; xvi, 11, 8), and once Atticula 
{ad Att. vi, 5, 4). Thus we see from such cognomina as Attica, 
Metella, Lepida, etc., that an additional name might readily be made 
from the father's cognomen. 

Under the empire we find much the same state of affairs, except 
that there is a notable increase in the use of cognomina, as Aelia 
Paetina, Tac. Ann. xii, 1 ; Aetnilia Lepida, vi, 40 ; Aemilia Musa, ii, 
48; Annia Rufilla, iii, 36; Appuleia Varilla, ii, 50; Artoria Flaccilla, 
xv, 71 ; Atria Galla, xv, 59 ; Calvia Crispinilla, Hist, i, 73 ; Claudia 
Pulchra, Ann. iv, 5 ; Domitia Decidiana, Agric. 6 ; Egnatia Maximilla, 
Ann. xv, 71; Pompeia Celerina, Plin. Epist. i, 4 ; Ummidia Quadra- 
tilla, vii, 24, 1; Galeria Copiola, Plin. N. H. vii, 158; Lollia Paulina, 
ix, 117; and numerous similar names. 

From the evidence of the use of names in literature there is little 
to lead us to suppose that Roman women ever had praenomina. 
There are, however, other kinds of evidence equally important which 
we must examine. In the first place, in the original Indo-European 
system women were named exactly in the same manner as men, and 
any theory which derives Roman praenomina from this system may 
fairly look for vestiges of praenomina among the names of women. 
Secondly, Varro in his researches has gathered for us some very 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 161 

valuable information. The following passage is of particular interest 
(Z. Z. be, 60) : Itaque ibi apparet analogia ac dicitur Terentius vir, 
Terentia femina, Terentium genus. In praenominibus ideo non fit 
item, quod haec instituta ad usum singularia, quibus discernerentur 
nomina gentilicia, ut ab numero Secunda, Tertia, Quarta, in viris ut 
Quintus, Sextus, Decimus, sic ab aliis rebus. Cum essent duo 
Terentii aut plures, discernendi causa, ut aliquid singulare haberent, 
notabant, forsitan ab eo, qui mane natus diceretur, ut is Manius 
esset, qui luci, Lucius, qui post patris mortem, Postumus. E quibus 
aeque cum item accidisset feminis, proportione ita appellata declina- 
rant praenomina mulierum antiqua, Mania, Lucia, Postuma ; videmus 
enim Maniam matrem larum dici, Luciam Volaminiam Saliorum 
carminibus appellari, Postumam a multis post patris mortem etiam 
nunc appellari. 

Also the Incertus Auctor of the liber de Praenominibus, who 
was a student of Varro, has the following interesting and per- 
tinent passage (§ 7): Antiquarum mulierum frequenti in usu prae- 
nomina fuerunt, Rutila, Caesellia, Rodacilla, Murrula, Burra a colore 
ducta. Ilia praenomina a viris tracta sunt, Gaia, Lucia, Publia, 
Numeria. Ceterum Gaia usu super omnes celebrata est. Ferunt 
enim Gaiam Caeciliam, Tarquinii Prisci regis uxorem, optimam 
lanificam fuisse et ideo institutum ut novae nuptae, ante ianuam 
mariti interrogatae quaenam vocarentur, Gaias esse se dicerent. 

Although the author of this brief article cites Varro, he relied 
mainly on other authorities, as is shown from the fact that his list 
of praenomina is quite different from that of Varro, and even in 
one place they are in contradiction. The Incert. Auct. mentions 
Numeria in his list, but Varro distinctly says, Z. Z. ix, 55, 'sic esse 
Marcum, Numerium, at Marcam, at Numeriam non esse.' 

For further light we must turn to our collection of Roman inscrip- 
tions. These, found in every quarter of the empire, and represent- 
ing different periods of Roman history, contain a large percentage 
of women's names. Taking CIL. xiv, as a fair sample, we find that, 
out of a total of about 5000 names, 187 1 are of women. The names 
represent all social classes, but the majority belong to the undis- 
tinguished multitude, and would never have survived to our day had 
it not been that their owners were fortunate enough to have the fact 



1 62 George Davis Cfiase. 

of their death recorded. Naturally, imperial times are most fully 
represented and show, as the commonest type, gentilicium and 
cognomen, of which the latter is either a Latin adjective, as in Aelia 
Optata, CIL. ii, 5492, or evidently a derivative from a masculine 
cognomen, as in Aelia Ruftna, CIL. ii, 990, or a Greek or foreign 
slave name, as in Aemilia Philumene (OiXov /ten?), CIL. ii, 6160. 

In seeking for Roman praenomina we must be careful to exclude 
those names of southern Italy which are evidently not Roman, but 
belong to the system in vogue in Oscan territory, as Vestia Oppia 
Atellana, Li v. xxvi, 33; Val. Max. v, 2, 1; Paculla Annia Campana, 
Liv. xxxix, 13; Cluvia Facula, Val. Max. v, 2, 1 ; Ennia Naevia, 
Suet. Cal. i2. 

In this list I would also class the following : 

CIL. i, 54. Dindia Macolnia (Dindia as nomen, Orell. 3784). 

" i, 149. Maria Selicia. 

" i, 1062. Volminia D. 1. Salvia. 

" i, 1063. Salvia M. 1. Servia. 

" i, 1063. Iulia M. 1. Ammia. 

" i, 1082. Pupia L. 1. Statia. 

" i, 1 183. Agria Sueia N. f. 

" i, 1204. Asula Sex. 1. Salvia. 

" i, 1298. Gavia Caesidia. 

" i, 1 50 id. Rudia Vergelia. 

" xiv, 3134. Maria Fabricia. 

" xiv, 4104. Ceisia Loucilia. 

" xiv, 1293. Statia Pompeia. 

" xiv, 2938. Tutia Marcia. 

" ix, 1 17 1. Vibia Licinia Telesilla. 

" ix, 6335. Vibia Sullia L. f. 

" ix, 3272. Vibia Tetidia L. f. 

" ix, 255. Vicilia Titania Procula. 

" x, 2717. Maria Caecilia Procilla. 

" x, 2783. Novia Fl(avia) Thallusa. 

" x, 1 102. Sergia Vibia Maxima. 

We occasionally find slave names, or other names that are regu- 
larly and commonly used as cognomina and have the character of 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 163 

such, placed before the gentile name. These could never have been 
considered real praenomina, but were permitted perhaps through the 
ignorance of foreigners, or the disturbance under the empire of the 
earlier name system. Examples of these are as follows : 



Sen. 


Contr. ix, 


5, 15. Galla Numisia. 


Tac. 


Ann. xiii, 


45. Sabina Poppaea. 


CJL 


• i> !S5- 


Graeca Vatronia. 


a 


iv, 1799. 


Sabina Sulpicia. 


a 


v, 449. 


Sabina Laevica Mercii f. 


a 


ix, 3827. 


Pampila Anaia P. 1. 


a 


ii, 1 149. 


Galla Blasti f. Servilia Superati. 


ii 


ix, 193 1 add. Hispania Pomponia. 


tt 


ii, 2356. 


Nigrina Sulpicia. 


a 


i, 1301. 


Rutila Fukinia. 


a 


ix, 4666. 


Rutila Iapriena T. f. 


a 


ix, 4387. 


[Rjutila Erefria. 


tt 


v, 6550. 


Rufa Gall M. f. 


tt 


ii, 3470. 


Caesilla T. f. Cornelia. 


it 


i, 1461. 


Grata Plotia. 


it 


v, 6612. 


Optata Clod[ra]. 


a 


v, 4676. 


Optata Mulvia. 


it 


v, 454- 


Hospita Petronia P. f. 


it 


v, 7306. 


Esiata Oppia. 


it 


ix, 3248. 


Saluta Obellia. 


a 


viii, 9386. 


Rogata Fabricia Procli f. 


a 


iii, 1612. 


Afiicta Caesia. 


a 


X, IOOI. 


Apta Buccia (but 1002 Bucia Apta). 


a 


xii, 35 x 9- 


Donata Cirratia. 


a 


x, 1299. 


Modesta Fisia Rufina. 


a 


x, 55I 6 - 


Rufa Rasinia. 


a 


iii, 3038. 


Avita Aquillia L. f. 


a 


iii, 3!5 r - 


Avita Nigidia Volsun. f. 


tt 


iii, 3038. 


Avita Suioca Vesclevesis. 


it 


v, 2606. 


Urbana Claudia. 


a 


ii, 945- 


Severa Mania L. f. 


a 


ix, 1228. 


Ingenua Babria. 



164 George Davis Chase. 



CIL 


• v, 3772. 


Prisca Terentia Q. f. Felicil 


ti 


v, 8156. 


Bona Titacia. 


it 


v, 3070. 


Agraeca Vosinia. 


it 


viii, 5013. 


Felicia Antonia. 


a 


ix, 4933- 


Posilla Senenia Quart, f. 


a 


ix, 4763b. 


Stella Apollonia. 


tt 


xii, 682 a. 


Silvana Patricia. 


tt 


xii, 4193. 


Saturnina S[eve]ria. 


a 


xii, 3945- 


Primigenia Aurelia. 


a 


ii, 2874. 


Titulla Ticconia. 


a 


vii, 58. 


Succ[essa] Petronia. 


a 


ii, 1788. 


Sura Cercia. 


a 


in, 5265. 


Vetulla Bucia Urbani f. 


a 


iii, 5621. 


Romana Argentonia. 


a 


v, 53 8 7- 


Suadilla Bellia Cripponis f. 


ti 


v, 7349- 


Vera Blaionia. 


tt 


v, 61 2 1. 


Verina Boiemia. 


ti 


v, 3536. 


Pupa Cassia M. f. 


tt 


v, 4109. 


Pusilla Clodia. 


tt 


v, 5°33- 


Verecunda Fundania. 


a 


v, 449. 


Marcella Laepoca. 


tt 


v, 449. 


Ternila Laevica Regiliae f. 


tt 


ix, 65. 


Acerratina Salvia. 


tt 


v, 4126. 


Seneca Magia Magi f. 


a 


v, 4894. 


Mesa Manilia Sev .... 


ti 


v, 7306. 


Gaudilla Oppia. 


a 


ix, 1527. 


Verna Rufria. 


a 


ii, 3453- 


Philocale Fadenia. 


tt 


ii, 2297. 


Nice Numisia. 


tt 


ii, 6207. 


Stelea Atilia Fortunata. 


tt 


xiv, 3105. 


Gemna Cordia. 


a 


ix, 6413. 


Antiopa Ania. 


tt 


ix, 321 1. 


Danais Aufidia. 


tt 


v, 37 1 9- 


Thedista Quintia. 


tt 


v, 7641. 


Enica Comiogia Nevi f. 


ti 


v, 7856. 


Mocea Eunania. 


it 


i, 918. 


Dercina Nanalaria. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 



165 



CIL. i, 982. Himinis Terentia. 

i, 1 2 19. Acumis Volusia. 

ix, 1422. Erotice Vircinia. 

ix, 378. [Me]rope Faenia. 

ix, 378. [Theojdote Galbia. 

i, 1356. Philomena Satria. 

ix, 5486. Auge Obilia. 

ix, 3200. Agathemis Pulfidia. 

x, 4423. Anthedonium Volusia, 

xii, 3424. Lycoris Anicia. 

xii, 809. Hilara Appaia. 

xii, 3945. Primigenia Aurelia. 

x ii> 3595- Helene Gaetulia. 
xii, 4676add. Calliste Martia. 

xii, 4465. Cloe Valeria. 

In the inscriptions from Etruria are found the Etruscan names 
Velisa or Valisa {CIL. i, 1350; 1365) and Thania or Thannia(CIL. 

i. 1347; ^63 ; 137°; I 37 I ; !373; 1375)- The latter also appears 
in a Faliscan inscription as a cognomen, Zvetaieff, Inscrip. Ital. 56. 

Fausta is found more frequently than the others which we have 
gathered, but should be classed with them : 

CIL. viii, 142 1. Fausta Servia. 

" v, 2486. Fausta Lartia. 

" ix, 3100. Fausta Vibia. 

" x . 8 353- [F]aus[t]a Iulia. 

No one would claim, I think, that any of the names in the above 
lists, though written first in some instances, were ever really praeno- 
mina. We come to others, however, about which, owing to their 
difference in use, a doubt might more properly be entertained. 
These are a limited number of names which seem to be used either 
first or last with equal freedom. We will consider them separately. 

Paula we find preceding the gentile name in the following instances : 

Cic. ad Att. viii, 7, 2. Paula Valeria. 
CIL. i, 39. [PJaulla Cornelia Cn. f. Hispalli. 
" i, 177. Pola Livia. 



1 66 George Davis Chase. 

CIL. i, 952. Paulla Salvia. 

" i, 1034. Polla Caecilia Spuri f. 

" i, 1 155. Paul Toutia M. f. 

" i, 1303. Pola Aponia. 

" i, 1313. Pola Abelese. 

" xiv, 3453. Pola Suestidia. 

" ii, 4623. Paulla Aemilia. 

" ii, 4363. Paulla Fulvia. 

" v ) 7719- Polla Lebronia Terti f. 

" ix, 4078. Pol[l]a Cosidia. 

" ix, 4239. Paulla Lacutalana Q. f. 

" ix, 4142. Pola Runtia L. f. 

" x, 5148. Polla Betuedia. 

" x, 6166. Polla Minculeia M. f. 

" x, 2855. Polla Victoria. 

Of these eighteen cases, the first eight are certainly from republi- 
can times, and some of the others may be. The cases where Paula 
follows the gentile name are considerably more numerous, — too 
numerous to give here, — but none of them are clearly republican. 

An interesting pair are Maior and Minor, which are used in in- 
scriptions even of an early period, in the position both of praenomen 
and cognomen, but in literature often have no more force than 
descriptive adjectives. Examples of the latter use are as follows: 

Fronto, ii, 13, Gratia minor, Gratia maior (mother and daughter). 

Suet. Aug. 4, Octavia minor, Octavia maior (sisters). 

Suet. Nero, 5, Antonia maior; Suet. Cal. 1, minor Antonia. 

Liv. vi, 34, minor Fabia. 

Sen. frag. 76, Haase, Marcella maior ; Porcia minor. 

Cf. Cato maior, in Cicero. 

In inscriptions we find them in use as follows: 

CIL. i, 78. Minor Ania C. f. 

" i, 97. Mino Coponia Artorom .... 

" i, 153. Min. Tutia. 

" xiv, 31 1 1. Mino Cumia L. f. 

" xiv, 3166. Mino Mamia Tib. f. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 167 

CIL. xiv, 3167. Mino Matlia. 

" i, to8. Maio Fabricia. 

" i, 136. Maio Orcevia M. f. 

" xiv, 3057. Maio Anicia. 

" xiv, 3301. Maio Fortun .... 

" xiv, 3284. Maio Tutia Q. f. 

" xiv, 3299. Maio Volentilia. 

" xiv, 3974. Herennia L. f. Merula minor. 

" xiv, 3237. Samiaria M. f. Minor Q. 

" xiv, 3973. Herennia L. f. Merula maior. 

" xiv, 225. [Sext]ilia Maior. 

" i, 928. Otacilia Maior (?). 

" ii, 651. Caecilia Q. f. Maior. 

It is to be noted that of this list all but the last one are from 
Latium. While twelve have the name preceding the gentilicium, six 
only have it following, and of these CIL. i, 928, is a doubtful read- 
ing, and in CIL. xiv, 3973 and 3974, the maior and minor appear to 
be simply distinguishing adjectives and not personal names. 

Maxima is almost always first, as follows : 

CIL. i, 1256. Maxsuma Sadria S. f. 

" ix, 5058. Maxutna Caesedia T. f. 

" ix, 5803. Maxima Nasica Cn. f. 

" i, 1434. Maxuma Aimilia. 

" v, 3180. Maxima Lucilia. 

" xii, 3981. Maxsuma Pompeia. 

" v, 2595. Catulla Q. f. Maxima. 

" x, 1 102. Sergia Vibia Maxima. 

Derivative forms appear in the two following inscriptions (else- 
where following the gentile) : 

CIL. iii, 3989. Maximana Aemilia. 
" iii, 2615. Maximilla Poppia. 

We now come to those names which, according to the evidence 
of the Romans themselves, were considered praenomena. The 
first one of these to take up is Postuma. Let us recall the words of 



1 68 George Davis Chase. 

Varro, L. L. ix, 60 : ' qui post patris mortem (natus), Postumus dicere- 
tur. E quibus aeque cum item accidisset feminis, . . . declinarant 
praenomina mulierum antiqua, Mania, Lucia, Postuma ; videmus enim 
. . . Postumam a multis post patris mortem etiam nunc appellari.' 
Plut. Sulla 37 bears similar testimony: 'H yap OvaWtpCa /jlcto. ttjv 
TcXevrr/v avrov OvyaTpiov airtKvrfcrtv, o THocrrovpav IkoXovv tous yap 
varepov Trjs tS>v iraTfptov TeAevrijs ya>op.ivov%, ovr<a Voip.atoi. irpoaayo- 
pevova-iv. The examples all show Postuma as a true cognomen : 

CIL. xiv, 2418. Herennia Postuma. 

" ii, 3740. Marcia P. f. Postuma Messenia Lucilla Aemilia. 

" ii, 1674. Anicia Sex. f. Postuma. 

" ii, 2654. Domitia Postuma. 

" iii, 3133. Kapia Postuma. 

It must be admitted that Varro's statement finds very little sup- 
port, and that his words are the only evidence that Postuma was ever 
a praenomen. 

The numerals are next in order. These require our special atten- 
tion because of their frequency of use as praenomina and their 
antiquity as names, as well as because of the evidence of Varro. We 
have said that in republican times women were most commonly 
designated by the gentile name alone. For the eldest daughter this 
did very well, but where there were younger ones, some means of 
distinguishing were necessary. We catch glimpses of cases where 
the numerals were used for this purpose, and it is likely that the 
practice was more frequent than appears from the evidence. 

L. Aemilius Paullus, the hero of Pydna, had two daughters by his 
first wife, one of whom married Cato, the other Tubero (Plut. Aem. 
5). Upon his second election to the consulship, in 168 B.C., when 
his two sons by his second wife were respectively eleven and thirteen 
years of age, we are told by Cicero (Div. i, 103) that his daughter 
Tertia was a little girl : L. Paulus consul iterum, cum ei bellum ut 
cum rege Perse gereret obtigisset, ut ea ipsa die domum ad ves- 
perum rediit, filiolam suam Tertiam, quae turn erat admodum parva, 
osculans animum advertit tristiculam. "Quid est," inquit, "mea 
Tertia ? quid tristis ? " " Mi pater," inquit, " Persa periit." Turn 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 169 

ille artius puellam complexus, "accipio," inquit, "mea filia, omen." 
Erat autem mortuus catellus eo nomine. From her age, therefore, 
and what we know of Paullus' family, we may be certain that she 
was actually his third daughter in order. She is again spoken of as 
Tertia in Cic. Div. ii, 40, and in Plut. Aem. 10, where the same 
story is cited from Cicero. Still another mention is found in Val. 
Max. vi, 7, 1, Tertia Aemilia, Africani prioris uxor, mater Corneliae 
Gracchorum. 

Another Tertia was the half-sister of M. Brutus and the wife of C. 
Cassius. She is variously spoken of as Tertia (Suet. lul. 50 ; Cic. 
ad. Brut, ii, 5, 3 and 6, 2), Tertulla (Suet. Jul. 50 ; Cic. ad. Att. xv, 
n, 1 ; xiv, 20, 2), Iunia Tertia (Macrob. Sat. ii, 2, 5), and Junta (Tac. 
Ann. iii, 76 : Iunia. . . . supremum diem explevit Catone avunculo 
genita, C. Cassi uxor, M. Bruti soror). She had an elder sister who 
is called Junia simply in Cic. ad. Att. xiv, 8 ; Veil. Pater, ii, 88. 

The eldest daughter of Q. Mucius Scaevola is called Mucia in 
Cic. Brut. 211. A younger daughter is spoken of as follows by 
Asconius {in Scaur. 19) : nam Tertiam, Scaevolae filiam .... duxe- 
rat. A few lines below she is spoken of as Mucia. She is also 
called Mucia elsewhere (Cic. ad. Att. i, 12, 3 ; ad. Fam. v, 2, 6 ; 
Suet. Caes. 50 ; Plut. Pomp. 42). 

The tribune P. Clodius had three sisters, according to Cicero {ad. 
Fam.i, 9, 15): ilia furia muliebrium religion um {sc. Clodius) qui non 
pluris fecerat Bonam deam quam tris sorores. There is a statement in 
Varro which seems at first sight to contradict this. Appius Claudius, 
the brother of P. Clodius, is made to say (Var. R. R. iii, 16, 2) : 'nam 
cum pauper cum duobus fratribus et duabus sororibus essem relictus, 
quarum alteram sine dote dedi Lucullo.' The contradiction, how- 
ever, is only apparent, as it may well have been the case that only 
two sisters were left dependent on Appius ; the eldest may have been 
settled before the father's death. We learn more particularly about 
these sisters from Plutarch, Cic. 29, AtwovAAos Be ko.1 QepairaiviSas 
irap«X £V > <*S (TvyyevoiTO ry vecoTaVg r<Sv aSe\<f>wv 6 KAuJSios, ore AevKovXXm 
o-vvioku. U0XX1) 8* rjv Sofa kcu reus aAAais Svcrtv dScA^ais irXrjO-idfciv 
rbv KAwSiov, <5v TepTi'av /xev Map/aos 6 'Prj$, KAwoW oe Mo-cMos 6 
KtXep elx^v, fjv KovaBpavrlav IkoKow. There can be no doubt that the 
youngest sister married Lucullus. This is plain both from the 



170 George Davis Chase. 

statement of Plutarch and from the fact, according to Varro, that 
she was married without dowry, which would be most likely to be the 
case with the youngest. We have next to decide between Tertia and 
Quadrantaria as to the order of their birth. The eldest daughter 
would be Clodia par excellence, and Quadrantaria is so styled 
in Plutarch. She had no other name than Clodia, except the 
abusive epithets which Cicero bestowed. Plutarch's language decides 
this point. When he speaks of the two as Clodia and Tertia his 
meaning is as significant as when in English we say ' Miss Wilson ' 
and 'Miss Alice,' referring to two sisters. The order must have 
been, therefore, (1) Clodia (Quadrantaria), (2) Tertia,<($) the wife 
of Lucullus. It does not seem probable that Tertia could ever have 
meant the third child, for the number of sons in a family would not 
have affected the designation of the daughters. Least of all would 
she be called Tertia if she was the eldest daughter, but had two 
older brothers ; it was not only the custom but an honor to be 
known only by the gentile name. In our particular case Tertia 
Clodia was probably the fourth child, since her brothers Appius and 
Gaius appear to have been older. But that she was the third 
daughter and still had only one older sister is not so paradoxical as 
it at first seems. When we take into account the rate of mortality 
among young children, the chances are at least even that there was 
a second daughter who died as a child. On the whole, the evidence 
seems convincing that Tertia in republican times meant the third 
daughter. 

A mistress of Verres is mentioned five times in Cicero ( Verr. iii, 
34 ; v, 12, 16) by no other name than Tertia. 

As to the position of Tertia with respect to the gentile name, 
we may notice that, in the only cases where they occur together, 
Valerius Maximus wrote Tertia Aemilia, and Macrobius, Junta 
Tertia. In the time of "Valerius the order was already beginning 
to be settled, and Macrobius is very poor authority indeed. The 
fact which seems to be pointed to, that the numerals were always 
descriptive, is an important one, and denotes a marked distinction 
from the use of the numerals among men. There Quintus could as 
readily be used for the firstborn as for the fifth, — indeed more so if 
the father's name happened to be Quintus (see above, p. 151). Now 



The Origin of Roman Praenotnina. 171 

a praenomen must be defined primarily as the distinguishing name 
of the individual, which might be chosen arbitrarily, and had little 
more significance than Charles or Henry with us. The fact that a 
name was in any way descriptive of the individual stamped it as 
a cognomen, and such we must consider the numerals in the case 
of women essentially to have been. Varro's classification of them 
as praenomina doubtless arose from his desire to reduce them to 
the same category as Quintus, Sextus, etc., where, indeed, they once 
properly belonged. They afterwards went through the same evolu- 
tion that Quintus, etc., had gone through, so that a hundred years 
after Cicero's time Tertia, Tertina, or Tertulla no longer meant the 
third daughter, and such names as Primula P.f. Secundina (CIL. xii, 
2761) were possible. But by this time the distinction between prae- 
nomen and cognomen was so much broken down that there was no 
clear consciousness of their being either. 

We learn from tradition that Romulus named his eldest daughter 
Prima: Plut. Rom. 14, kclL yevecrOai km iraiSas avr<j> (Romulus), /xiav 
fiiv Ovyartpa llpifiav, rfj rd£ei tijs ycvttrceos ovtu> TrpovayopevOeurav. 
Prima occurs in inscriptions as follows : 

CIL. i, ioio. Prima Pompeia. 
" v, 2608. Prima Coelia Mataronis. 
" v, 2805. Prima Minucia. 

Of Prima as cognomen we find fifty-four instances in CIL. i-iv 
and xiv, and a proportionate number throughout. In Plin. Epist. 
Tra. 60 occurs the name Furia Prima. It will be remembered that 
Varro admitted as praenomina the numerals Secunda, Tertia, and 
Quarta only. The derivative forms of the numerals, as Primula, 
Secundina, Tertiola, Tertulla, Quarlilla, Quintilla, Quintina, etc., 
occur so constantly as cognomina that we need mention them only 
in the few instances where they are found as first names, as follows : 

CIL. xii, 2761. Primula P. f. Secundina. 
" xii, 5219. Primula Verria. 
" xii, 2827. Secundina Cominia. 
" ix, 4351. Tertulla Albia Pamphili 1. 
" viii, 877 add. Quartina Pupenia. 



172 



George Davis Chase. 



For Secunda we find in two inscriptions the additional evidence of 
its conscious use as a praenomen that it was abbreviated to Sec. 
The examples of Secunda are as follows : 



CIL. v, 996. 

" ix, 3862. 

" ii, 614. 

" v, 2120. 

" v, 3488. 

" v, 3783. 

" v, 2327. 

" v, 8877. 

« v, 5177. 

" v, 3794. 

" x, 5277. 

" x, 3818. 



Sec. Petronia C. f. N. . . . 
Seq. Frendesia P. f. 
Secunda Herennia. 
Secunda Accia. 
Secunda Annia L. f. 
Secunda Baebia C. f. 
Secunda Cammica Siponis f. 
Secunda Octavia C. f. 
Secunda Pompeia. 
Secunda Valeria M. f. 
Secunda Lusia L. f. 
[Se]q[u]nda Solania L. f. 



It is significant that eight of these twelve inscriptions come from 
Gallia Cisalpina. A local fashion appears to have swelled the num- 
ber considerably. In CIL. i-iv and xiv alone, we find seventy cases 
of Secunda used as a cognomen. The proportion agrees well with 
Prima. 

Tertia comes first as follows : 



1. Tertia Aemilia. 
Tertia Basilia. 
Tertia Sapiena C. 1. 
Tert Coriaria. 
Trtia Sauna. 
Tertia Aniavia. 
Tertia Apicia. 
Tertia Cominia. 
Tertia Dometia Maconi f. 
Tertia Petronia M. f. 
Tertia Vippia Vippi f. 
Tertia Boel[ia] Salvia. 
Tertia Turpedia. 
Tertia Rubria [Tjerti f. 



Val. 


Max. vi, 7, 


CIL 


i, 1099. 


u 


i, 1298. 


It 


xiv, 3107. 


a 


xiv, 3251. 


a 


v, 2370. 


tl 


v, 2563. 


a 


v, 73 8 5- 


it 


v, 6931. 


it 


v, 7385- 


a 


v, 7961. 


a 


ix, 4375- 


tt 


ix, 5169. 


u 


ix, 4386. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 173 

Here again we notice that out of thirteen nine are from northern 
Italy. It may be that these represent an older Roman fashion, a 
' patavinitas ' that had gone out of use in the city itself. In CIL. 
i-iv and xiv we find twenty-eight cases of Tertia used as a cognomen. 

Of Quarta there are the following examples : 

Liv. xl, 37. Quarta Hostilia. 

CIL. i, 1306. Quarta Senenia C. 1. 

" xiv, 3283. Quorta Tondia. 

" v > 3772. Quarta Terentia. 

" ix, 4718. Quarta Decia L. 1. 

" x, 3817. Quarta Confleia M. 1. 

As cognomen Quarta occurs in CIL. i-iv and xiv seventeen times, 
and frequently elsewhere. In Latium, however, only one example 
is found, — CIL. xiv, 287, Acilia Quar. 

With respect to Quinta the case is somewhat more complicated. 
The chaste Claudia of 204 B.C. appears in Cic. pro Cael. 34 as 
Quinta ilia Claudia, in de Harus. resp. 27 as Q. Claudia, but with 
the variant readings of Quincta in cod. P 1 , and Quinta in P 2 G. Her 
name is, however, handed down as Claudia Quinta in Liv. xxix, 14, 
Tac. Ann. iv, 64, and Ovid, Fasti, iv, 305. In Val. Max. i, 8, 11, 
the MS. is corrupt : Kempf in his earlier edition restores Q. Claudiae, 
in his later one Quintae Claudiae. Of the inscriptions in which the 
name occurs the majority come from Africa, and in most of these 
Quinta is abbreviated to Q. The examples are as follows : 

CIL. viii, 6227. Q. Iulia Gelulici f. 

" viii, 3755. Q. Iulia Urbana. 

" viii, 9216. Q. Martia. 

" viii, 6607. Q. Sitia Novella. 

" viii, 565. Q. Tupidia Ianuaria. 

" v > 3572. Q. Cornelia C . . . . Rufialis. 

" viii, 6863. Quinta Aemilia. 

" viii, 5300. Quinta Caecilia. 

" viii, 8356. Quinta Iulia. 

" xiv, 1649. Quinta Sulpicia. 

" ii, 3680. Quinta Caecilia Norisi. 



174 George Davis Chase. 

CIL. ii, 2945. Quinta Fabia. 
" xii, 1385. [Q]uinta Centon(ia ?). 

The habit of abbreviating to Q. undoubtedly arose from the 
abbreviation of the masculine praenomen Quintus. We shall see 
that all the women's names which had corresponding masculine 
praenomina were regularly so abbreviated. In CIL. i-iv and xiv 
we find twenty-six cases of Quinta as cognomen. 

Of other numerals we find very scanty examples. We seem to 
have Sexia in CIL. x, 5354, Sex. Cornelia Panteris. In CIL. v, 
6455, Oct. Valeria Vera, we may suppose either Octava or Octavia; 
perhaps the latter is the more probable. As examples of cognomina 
we may cite as follows : 

CIL. iii, 2412. Lalia Sexta. 

" iii, 3187. Ostoria Sexta. 

" xiv, 501.2. Aebutia Septima. 

" xiv, 2338. Casperia Septima. 

" ii, 2592. Carisia Nona. 

We have now reached a short final group, the feminine forms of 
real masculine praenomina, as Gaia, Lucia, Publia, Mania. For 
Gaia there is considerable evidence from literature, as follows : 
Incert. Auct. de Praen. 7, quoted on p. 161 ; Paul, ex lest. 95, Gaia 
Caecilia appellata est, ut Romam venit, quae antea Tanaquil vocitata 
erat, uxor Tarquinii Prisci regis Romanorum, quae tantae probitatis 
fuit ut id nomen ominis boni causa frequentent nubentes, quam 
summam asseverant lanificam fuisse ; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 30, Aia ti 
r-qv vv/J.<t>i]V eicrdyovTK Aeyeiv KtXevovo-iv, Oirov cru Tat'os, iyl> Ta'Ca. 
Horepov, cooTrep eiri pijrois ev$vs ela-euri T<5 KOivoweiv airavrtav Kal avvdp- 
X«v," Kal to p.ev 8rj\ovp.€v6v eoriv, "Oirov crv Kvpios Kal oiKoSeoTroViys, Kal 
ty<o KvpCa Kal oixoSecnroiya • Tots S ' ovo/jxuti tovtois aXAcos K€)(prjvTai 
Koivot'S 0Z0-LV, tocrirep 01 vop.iKol Taiov Sifiov Kal Aovkiov Tmov, Kal ot 
<j>i\6<jo<t>ot AiWa Kal ®ia>va TrapaXdp.fiavovcnv ; *H 81a Tatav KaiKiXiav 
KaXijv Kal dyaOrjv yvvaiKa, tu>v TapKWtov muoW evl o-vvoiKrjo-acrav, i;s iv 
t<5 tov SayCTOV lep<S xaXKOvs avSpias eaTij/cev ; Ikoto St rrdkai Kal o-av- 
8a\ta Kal arpaKTOL, to p.ev oiKovpias auTjJs, to 8i, evtpytuK o-v/j.fio\.ov ; 
Plin. N. H. viii, 194, Lanam in colo et fuso Tanaquilis, quae eadem 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 175 

Gaia Caecilia vocata est, in templo Sanci durasse prodente se auctor 
est M. Varro, factamque ab ea togam regiam undulatam in aede 
Fortunae qua Ser. Tullius fuerat usus; Paul, ex Fest. p. 224, prae- 
nominibus feminas esse appellatas testimonio sunt Caecilia et 
Taracia quae ambae Gaiae solitae sint appellari, pari modo Lucia 
et Titia ; Cic. pro L. Murena, 27, In omni denique iure civili aequi- 
tatem reliquerunt, verba ipsa tenuerunt, ut, quia in alicuius libris 
exempli causa id nomen invenerant, putarunt omnes mulieres quae 
coemptionem facerent, Gaias vocari ; Quint, i, 7, 28, nam et Gaius 
C littera significatur, quae inversa mulierem declarat, quia tarn Gaias 
esse vocitatas quam Gaios etiam ex nuptialibus sacris apparet ; Veil. 
Long. 2218, C inversum quo Gaia significatur; quod notae genus 
videmus in monumentis, cum quis libertus mulieris ostenditur : 
Gaias enim generaliter a specie omnes mulieres accipere voluerunt. 
The account is fairly consistent and we are inclined to believe it in 
the main ; namely, that Gaia was an old and very common prae- 
nomen, and came to be used, just as some people call every boy 
Johnny, to stand for any one of a class, that is, of the class of 
women. The passage from Cicero partially explains the marriage 
formula. Gaius stood for any man's praenomen and Gaia for any 
woman's. In the service we may understand that the real names 
of the contracting parties were substituted. It is interesting to 
compare the marriage formula in Skt. Afval&yana Grihyasutra, i, 7, 
where the groom says, 

' amo 'ham asmi, sa tuam ; 
sa tvam asi, amo aham,' 

in which personal pronouns are used without the names. That 
C inversum was used to designate the libertus of a woman is 
amply attested by the evidence of the monuments. In Gell. vii, 7, 1, 
we find the name Gaia Taracia, but in Plin. N. H. xxxiv, 25, the 
same name appears as Taracia Gaia ; cf. Paul, ex Fest. p. 224. Val. 
Max. viii, 3, 2, speaks of C. Afrania, who lived in Cicero's time, and 
whose name became a reproach among women for public impudence. 
Inscriptions furnish us with the following instances of Gaia : 

CIL. v, 137. C. Basilia Crispina. 
" v > 7959- C. Valeria Candidi[lla ?]. 



176 George Davis Chase. 

CIL. viii, 3391. C. Annia Maximina. 

" viii, 300. Gaia Iul[ia]. 

" viii, 10520. C. Sulpicia Ro[g]ata. 

" viii, 3664. Gaia Iulia C. Iulii Celeris f. 

In the two following the readings are doubtful : 

CIL. iii, 4721. C. Iulia Iuliana (?). 
" ix, 2712. C. Attia Sabina (?). 

In CIL. viii, 3348, we have 

D M 

CAELI MAC 
RINA VIXIT, etc., 

which Renier reads C. Aelia Macrina. Mommsen, however, doubts 
this interpretation, and it seems very questionable. In the inscrip- 
tion given by Zvet. 35, CIA-PACIA have been conjectured by 
Deecke (Zvet. App.) to stand for C(A)IA PACIA. 

Lucia is mentioned as a praenomen by both Varro and the Incert. 
Auct., and appears in the following inscriptions : 

CIL. i, 1357. L. Sentia Sex. f. 

" v, 2209. L. Barbia Progenita. 

" viii, 3869. L. Antestia Saturnina. 

" viii, 7578. L. Manlia Honorata. 

" xii, 397. L. Caecilia L. f. Donata. 

" xii, 706. L. Statia Firma. 

" i, 194. [Lujcia Pacia (cf. Zvet. 35). 

" vi, 1398. L. Baebia Sallustia Crescentilla C. f. 

" vi, 1516. L. Septimia Patabiniana Balbilla Tyria, etc. 

" v, 950. Lucia Vitellia q. et Senecilla. 
Ephem. Epig. v, 1358. Lucia Paccia Valeria Saturninae f. 

" i88i,p.223. AOYKIATTOMTTONIA MEAiTINH, etc. 
Bullet. Arch. Comun. 1880, p. 24. Lucia Licinia Urbana. 
Grut. 447, 3. L. Peducea Iuliana. 

The two following are uncertain : 

CIL. iii, 42 1 1. L. Septimia Severa. 
" xii, 5093. L. Rinnia Primae L. Aucta. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 177 

Lucia is also not infrequently found as a cognomen, as in the 
following inscriptions : 

CIL. ii, 3896. Cornel. T. f. Lucia. 

" iii, 5680. Barbia Lucia. 

" iii, 5947. Gessatia Lucia. 

" iii, 1250. Herennia Lucia. 

" iii, 4281. Modiasia Lucia. 

" iii, 134. Petilia Lucia. 

" iii, 1 132. Statilia Lucia. 

It is to be noticed that these examples are almost entirely con- 
fined to the eastern provinces. 

For Publia, besides the statement of the Incert. Auct, we have 
the following inscriptional evidence : 

CIL. i, 156. P. Vebidia Q. f. Numa. 

" ii, 585. P. Valeria Maximina (Momm. Pompeia). 

" ix, 3048. P. Aelia Visivilia. 

" iii, 1 182. Publia Aelia Iuliana Marcella. 

" xii, 5158. Publia Martia. 

" xii, 3848. Publia Pompeia. 

The reading is uncertain in CIL. iii, 5780, Publia Ceionia Vin- 
delica. In CIL. iii, 1184, P- AEL- PROCLA, Mommsen fears that 
the whole inscription has been corrupted by conjectures. Publia 
appears at least once as a cognomen, CIL. iii, 1249, Viria Publia. 

Varro has already told us that the praenomen Mania is derived 
from Manius. For the antiquity of the name we have his statement 
that the mother of the Lares was called Mania. We find also the 
same statement at greater length in Macrob. Sat. i, 7, 34. Cf. 
also Paul ex F. p. 144, Maniae turpes deformesque personae ; also 
Orelli, 2025, MANIAE DEAE. Manius was regularly abbreviated 
by the five-stroke AA/ ; so we find in the very old inscription from 
Picenum, CIL. i, 177, 

MATRE 

MATVTA AA/-CVRIA 

DONO-DIIDRO POU-UVIA 

MATRONA DEDA 



1 78 



George Davis Chase. 



In Wilmanns, 2675, SEPTIMIA AA/ -LIB- MYRfS, we may 
understand either Manius or Mania. For further evidence we have 
only the two following doubtful cases : 

CIL. i, 867. Mania (?) Fabricia. 
" xiv, 1793. M. Ulpia Elpidus (?). 

It has already been stated that C inversum was used to distin- 
guish the libertus of a woman. In a number of curious cases from 
Spain and Gallia Narbonensis, an inverted M seems to have the 
same force : 

CIL. ii, 558. M • HELVIVS • 1AI • LIB. 

ii, 558. MALLIA-IAI- LIB- GALLIA. 

" ii, 1449. Mummia W 1. Fortunata. 

" ii, 2359. Sulpicia W 1. Callirhoe Superati. 

" xii, 4719. Corania W [1], Hymnis. 

For further instances of women's praenomina the following in- 
scriptions may be noticed : 

CIL. i, 84. N. Atilia P. f. (Old Praeneste). 
V. Volusia Rufa Q. 1. 
Sp. Cassia Quintulli f. 
Ap. Aurelia Aur. f. Luperialla, etc. 
Heria Calpurnia. 

A. Ignia Crispina. (Mommsen thinks this an 
interpolation.) 

In CIL. xii, 684 T. [I]ulia Valentina (so read by all but Dumont), 
the T may stand for Tita. Some additional evidence for the exist- 
ence of a praenomen Tita is furnished by the passage from Paul, ex 
Fest. p. 224, praenominibus feminas esse appellatas testimonio sunt 
Caecilia et Taracia, quae ambae Gaiae solitae sint appellari, pari 
modo Lucia et Titia. Tita we could understand as the feminine of 
Titus ; Titia is quite incomprehensible. It is most probable there- 
fore that a corruption exists in the text of Paulus and that we 
should read Tita for Titia. 



i, 


84. 


i, 


1102. 


xii, 


4143- 


", 


3372- 


ii, 


1150. 


ix, 


1272. 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. ijg 

The oldest inscriptions from Picenum, CIL. i, 167-180, contain 
four names of women, each with a praenomen, Cesula Atilia, M/. 
Curia, Pola Livia, .... Nomelia. On these Mommsen says, 
' quarum nullam praenomine carere inter indicia est remotissimae 
vetustatis.' We prefer to look upon it as a local matter rather than 
one of time, and to believe it in keeping with the Italic custom out- 
side of Rome of giving women praenomina equally with men. In 
two Faliscan inscriptions we find very similar names: Zvet. 58, 
Cesula Tiperilia Te. f ; 59, Pola Marcia S. The great majority of 
women's names throughout Zvetaieff have praenomina. 

It seems to me that names such as Rhea Silvia, and Acca Laren- 
tia from the early mythical history of Rome cannot be cited with 
any considerable weight in any direction, because their origin and 
relation to the historical system of names is entirely obscure. 

We have now briefly reviewed the direct evidence for feminine 
praenomina among the Romans. For the names from colors, — 
Rutila, Caesellia, Rodacilla, Murrula, Burra, — cited by the Incert. 
Auct., we have found no evidence whatever, unless Caesillia is a cor- 
rupt reading for Caesulla. For the other names cited in the same 
place and for those in Varro we found sufficient evidence to lead us 
to the following conclusion, which is not absolutely proved, but 
seems on the whole the most probable : namely, that women had in 
early Roman times a set of praenomina corresponding to those 
which we find in use among men ; that these fell into disuse and in 
classical times had preserved only vestiges in provincial or vulgar 
practice, or in such special uses as the C inversum for liberti of 
women and the bridal formula ; that in the general downfall of the 
Roman system which occurred in post-classical times, these early 
praenomina rose continually, here and there, from the lower social 
orders or from provincial localities, but at the same time became undis- 
tinguishably mixed with names that were purely and simply cogno- 
mina ; and that this confusion now attracted the cognomen to the front, 
now relegated the praenomen to a position after the gentilicium. 

Paulla, though in origin a cognomen and oftenest so used, came 
to be frequently understood and used as a praenomen. 

Maior and Minor were hardly more than descriptive adjectives, 
as in English Senior and Junior, denoting the relation of wife and 



180 George Davis Chase. 

daughter, or elder and younger sister. It is doubtful if they were 
ever considered really part of the name. 

Fostutna seems always to have been a cognomen, Varro to the 
contrary notwithstanding. 

Of the numerals, Prima was little used for lack of demand ; 
Secunda, Tertia, Quarta, and Quinta were used with the force and 
most frequently in the position of cognomina, although doubtless 
through the influence of the position of Quintus, Sextus, etc., they 
were frequently put first. 

Survivals of real praenomina scarcely extend beyond the three 
names Gaia, Lucia, and Publia, and perhaps Mania, but the 
occurrences of these are at the period when any sharp distinction 
between praenomen and cognomen was obliterated from the sense of 
the people. We see, therefore, that the common statement that 
Roman women had no praenomina is both true and untrue. Accord- 
ing to the correct use of Cicero's time they had nothing that could 
be properly so called ; but in the provinces and among the lower 
classes praenomina still survived, ready to come to the surface again 
in the social upheavals of imperial times. 

VII. Conclusion. 

Our work has already outgrown its intended limits, but we must 
still linger a moment to state briefly some of the conclusions to 
which in our investigation of the facts about Roman names we have 
been led. Beginning with the kind of name which is represented by 
Demosthenes as a type, and, as we are warranted in doing, assuming 
this to be the original form of Indo-European name, we have already 
observed that the first important step in the development of the sys- 
tem was the shortening process by which Demosthenes became Demon. 
In comparison with the related languages, the Italic dialects are 
noticeable for their avoidance of compounds of two denominative 
members or of a denominative and a verbal member. We are not 
surprised, therefore, to find the same tendency so far exerting itself 
in the personal names as early to have reduced the compound names 
to the form of a single member. At the same time, when we con- 
sider that Lucius may be the representative of an unlimited number 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 181 

of compounds having luco- as either first or second member, we see 
how the abbreviating process tended to reduce materially the avail- 
able number of given names. The number was still more diminished 
by the small size and exclusive character of the early Roman settle- 
ment. In any community it is the general tendency for the available 
number of given names to become very small. In Christian coun- 
tries the number is often restricted to the list in the church calendar ; 
but in any district the list in common use will be found to have 
reduced itself to a small handful. This principle of restriction is so 
well recognized in Germany that it has given rise to the Low German 
proverb, ' Hinnik un Jan het 'te maisse Mann.' 

The possibility of such restriction arises as soon as the individual 
assumes, or is given, other additional names as a means of designa- 
tion ; and this touches the keynote of the second stage of develop- 
ment. Before the separation of the Italic branch from the Greek, a 
new kind of name had begun to make its appearance : the nick- 
name, often a ' Schimpfname,' and always implying individual 
description or criticism, began to be used. In Greek we meet with 
such names only sparingly, asIIAaTw, Pdvylikos, etc.; but in Latin 
the development grew to be the basis of the widely extended system 
of cognomina. The character of these has been already sufficiently 
discussed. They must originally have been acquired during the life- 
time of the individual, who of course had already received a regu- 
larly assigned name. We are therefore forced to believe that the 
cognomen came into use as a second name, and at a period prior to 
the development of the gentilicium. The latter deduction appears at 
first sight to be forced, and not always to be borne out by the facts. 
For if the cognomen developed before the gentile we might expect to 
find its employment more general in period and locality. As a matter 
of fact, it does appear with considerable regularity among the earliest 
authentic historical names at Rome, as in Horatius Codes, Coriola- 
nus, etc., particularly in the case of patrician families ; and it is not 
too bold to suppose that the usage was even more general than the 
records show. When we go outside of Latin, however, we find in 
the Oscan and Umbrian dialects that the full name consisted oftenest 
of praenomen and gentile. Only in a limited number of cases, where 
Latin influence seems to have been at work, do we find instances of 



1 82 George Davis Chase. 

cognomina in these dialects. An examination of the proper names 
in Zvetaieff, Inscrip. Ital. Infer., will show this to be the case. 

In Latin we may look upon the three processes of abbreviation, of 
restriction in number, and of addition of a second name as taking 
place gradually and simultaneously, and each mutually tending to 
produce the other. Many of the newly acquired cognomina did not 
appear to the users radically different from the shortened praenomina; 
and as many men came to be known and regularly called by their 
cognomina, a number of the most frequent of these became confused 
with the praenomina proper, and in time used in their stead. This 
would explain such Greek names as IIAaT<ov and AmtxvAos, and in 
Latin, praenomina like Gnaevos, Aulus, Proculus, etc., which must 
have arisen as cognomina. In the case of most of these, their posi- 
tion was precarious, and they never obtained a really permanent 
foothold. We cannot suppose Agrippa, Proculus, Opiter, etc., ever 
to have been in general and unrestricted use as praenomina, although 
at times and in certain families they were certainly so employed. 
At the same time their use as cognomina continued, and as such 
they survived to classical times. In the other Italic dialects the 
cognomina which arose at the earliest period seem in time to have 
fully qualified as praenomina. The habit of forming new cognomina 
then ceasing, all names were classed alike as praenomina. The 
praenomina in Oscan appear to be partly like Gaius, Lucius, etc., 
partly like Gnaeus, Aulus, Proculus, etc. The three-name system in 
Latin was due to the fact that cognomina never ceased to be formed, 
even down to a late period. 

The cognomina which finally took permanent station as praenomina 
were Gnaeus, Aulus, Tiberius, and Spurius; for with regard to Titus, 
Numerius, and Appius, which had their origin outside of Latium, we 
are not able to decide to which class of names they belong. 

Numerals could have arisen only as names of personal description. 
Their existence as praenomina is very strong evidence that at an early 
date the number of accepted praenomina was exceedingly limited. 
The absence of the first four numerals and the frequent use of 
Quintus and Sextus and occasional use of the higher ordinals show 
that up to five a Roman was never forced to resort to numbering to 
distinguish his sons, — that every pater familias had the free choice 



The Origin of Roman Praenomina. 183 

of at least four praenomina ; but that in the case of more than four 
sons many were obliged to employ numerals. It does not follow 
that every Roman had the same four praenomina to select from; 
indeed we know that in many families certain common ones were 
excluded (as in the case of Lucius among the Claudii, Suet. Tib. 1) ; 
so that we may fairly consider the number of commonly accepted 
praenomina in use at the early period at which the numerals were 
added to have been six or seven. Those most universally in use 
were Lucius, Gaius, Marcus, Publius ; to these were added often the 
spurious praenomina, Gnaeus and Aulus; and Manius and Servius 
were employed just enough to preserve their undisputed existence as 
praenomina down to the latest times. All other names which we 
have found occurring at one time or another as praenomina were 
used among immigrants from other parts of Italy, or confined to 
special families in such a way as not, to affect materially this ex- 
tremely simple and impoverished system. 

So far our explanation has taken no account of the gentilicium. 
This did not arise in the same natural way as the other names. It 
came about in a deliberate manner and in answer to the needs of a 
highly developed political order. It arose with the formation of the 
state, and was part of the official designation of the person. It must 
have required a long time after the gentile came into official use 
before it was regularly employed in familiar practice. It was only 
at a late stage, though before the historical period, that a man was 
regularly known by both praenomen and gentile. 

At the time the gentile was introduced, the names in use were 
single for each individual, and already of the two classes represented 
by Lucius and Gnaeus. The gentile was placed always after these, 
and thus its position as the second name was fixed. Here the devel- 
opment stopped in Oscan and in Plebeian Latin. In Umbrian it was 
the custom to express the father's name, in the genitive case, directly 
after the praenomen, as C. V. Vistinie, Ner. T. Babr. (= C. Vistinii 
V. f., Ner. Babrii T. f.) ; cf. Buecheler, Umbrica, p. 172. Here we 
see most clearly the descriptive nature of the gentile ; a man was 
known by his own name and his father's, but in addition- had a 
political designation which was added as a matter of form. But 
among the higher classes at Rome new cognomina continued to be 



184 George Davis Chase. 

added. These coming after the gentile made it more intimately a 
part of the name, until in time it came to be the most distinctive 
part in formal use. The old cognomina wavered and were divided 
in use ; some few became permanently praenomina, but the majority, 
after an interval of uncertainty, being recognized as belonging in 
character to the new class, joined the cognomina, and are there 
usually found. 

The gentile was in all cases derived from already existing names. 
The earliest ones were derived from names used as praenomina, as 
Lucilius, Marcius, Procilius, Avilius, etc.; but as the number of 
gentes continued to increase and the number of praenomina was 
limited, they came to be formed from the later cognomina, as Longi- 
lius, Luscius, Rubrius, Flavins, Calvius, and hosts of similar forms. 

Thus roughly we have outlined the development of Roman names 
down to the empire. At that time there began to creep in the great- 
est confusion in names, owing to the common practice of multiplying 
cognomina and the habit of leaving off the first names. But about 
these later changes there is no mystery. The reason for them and 
the course they took are both well established, and form no part of 
the design of the present work.